Former Aston Villa left-back Mike Pejic criticises international decision from Jack Grealish, believes career is nosediving

The youngster has struggled to follow up on his brilliant breakthrough season.

Former Aston Villa left-back Mike Pejic has laid into Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish after his poor season at Villa Park, as reported by the Stoke Sentinel.

It has certainly not been a season to remember for the youngster.

This time last year he was being tipped as the next big thing after guiding Villa to survival and the FA Cup final.

However, he has struggled both on and off the pitch this season – with injury and disciplinary issues blighting his chances of success on both the club and international stage.

The Villa star decided he wanted to play for England, despite representing Ireland at youth level, earlier this season and is now out of the picture at both levels.

Pejic, who played for Villa in the 1979-80 season, believes that Grealish has only himself to blame.

When comparing him to Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland he stated in the Stoke Sentinel:

“Aston Villa's Jack Grealish.

“Just about this time last year he was being feted as the next big discovery and you had both England and Ireland fighting over him.

“He turned his back on Ireland and opted for England, but that's clearly turned out to be a misguided decision. I'm sure he would be on his way to the Euros had he let Martin O'Neill bring him into the senior fold with Ireland.

“England haven't touched him with a barge pole, meanwhile, and his club career has quite obviously nosedived along with his club."

Grealish has featured just 17 times for Aston Villa this season and scored just once, in a 3-2 defeat against Leicester City back in September.

Since then he has battled injury problems and found himself out of the first-team after disciplinary issues under Remi Garde.

The club look set to drop down to the Championship for next season. Perhaps a season in the second tier is exactly what Grealish needs.

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