Harry Redknapp a big fan of Aston Villa's Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish

The youngster's display against Birmingham City last month was "amazing to watch", according to the former Tottenham Hotspur boss.

Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish has won over plenty of admirers since bursting onto the Premier League scene during last season’s run-in, including Harry Redknapp.

Speaking on Graham Hunter’s The Big Interview podcast, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers manager did not use his usual “top, top player” line or claim that he once tried to sign Villa’s star prospect, but he did go as far as to label him an example of the kind of talent British football needs more of.

Specifically referencing Villa’s 1-0 Capital One Cup third round win over Birmingham City last month, in which Grealish came off the bench at half-time to help change the game in the hosts' favour, Redknapp said: “I watched a game last night on TV, I’m watching Aston Villa play Birmingham – the first half was dire, it was dire. I’m watching and thinking ‘look at this’.

Suddenly, they bring a kid on, Grealish, and this kid is floating all over the pitch. He’s beating players, he’s doing dragbacks, he’s playing passes – he just lit the game up.

“I thought ‘what a talent’. Whether he’ll go on to be what he should be, but my god, he just changed the whole football match when he walked on to the pitch. It was amazing to watch.”

Grealish, meanwhile, has endured a somewhat up-and-down season at Villa so far this term, having struggled for fitness and consistency since picking up a hamstring injury at the start of the team’s training camp in Portugal.

The 20-year-old midfielder has still managed to show plenty of flashes of brilliance, including in the win over Birmingham, but that was not enough to save manager Tim Sherwood’s job following a run six straight Premier League defeats that left the club bottom of the table.

CEO Tom Fox is now leading the search for the club’s fifth new boss in six seasons but it would seem that Redknapp is not a potential option, having already ruled himself out of the running and instead backed a lower league candidate for the position.

Speaking to talkSPORT on Tuesday morning, the ex-West Ham United chief said: “It’s a fantastic football club but I wouldn’t see myself getting that job. It would be difficult for me now, but it’s a great job for somebody.

“There are managers in the lower divisions, when are they going to get a chance?”

Villa will likely not be going that route but whoever they do eventually appoint will have to rely heavily on the creativity of Grealish, as well as fellow playmaker Carles Gil, if the club are to avoid dropping down to the second tier for the first time since 1988.

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