Ian Taylor has told the Birmingham Mail that he believes Jack Grealish has the potential to become an ‘absolute hero’ for Aston Villa.
Grealish is widely regarded as the best talent to come out of Villa’s academy in some time, but the attacking midfielder has endured a difficult campaign this year.
The attacking midfielder has dropped out of favour since Remi Garde has taken charge, with his attitude being called into question.
And Taylor has warned Grealish that if he doesn’t knuckle down, he may well not fulfil his obvious potential.
"He's a young player who's been catapulted into the limelight and I think he's got to come to terms with the fact that it brings its pitfalls,” Taylor said. “He has to curb his actions somewhat.
"I've seen many players that have the talent and technique, but they don't make it because their attitude's not been right they've not done things properly.
"Local fans want a hero. They want someone to look up to and someone to cheer for and if he behaves in the right way he could be an absolute hero for Aston Villa. He's a special talent and he needs to think about his football first and foremost.”
Grealish’s best form for Aston Villa came when Tim Sherwood was in charge at the club.
Sherwood gave the 20-year-old plenty of freedom to express himself, and Grealish seemed to thrive in the role.
He has been unable to build on his successful campaign during 2014/15 this time around, though, and his development seems to have stalled.
A series of injuries have not helped, but when Grealish has played he has not made much of an impact.
Grealish has made 17 appearances for Villa so far this season, scoring just once.