The midfielder has not had the best of seasons at Villa Park as Villa were relegated to the Championship.
He played little part in that poor campaign, having been removed from the first-team picture by former manager Remi Garde after off-field issues.
Grealish struggled to get back into the team under Eric Black, too, as the caretaker manager left him out of his side at the end of the season.
Regardless of all that, he was named in Southgate’s England under-21 squad for the Toulon Tournament in France this week.
And he says when he met the youngster he was impressed by the enthusiasm he showed to be involved.
"It's been a tough season as a club for Aston Villa, which is painful for me to see,” he told avfc.co.uk.
"The thing that pleased me when I went to meet Jack was the smile, the enthusiasm to be involved, the desire to take up the opportunity. It's a big commitment.”
Grealish will now be hoping that he can be the star of the show for Villa next season as they look to compete in the Championship.
He has something of a damaged reputation to rebuild at the club, after a disappointing season for him that was marred by those off-field issues.
It has already been suggested he could be a star in the Championship, and leading his side to an instant return to the Premier League would be a perfect way to get his career back on track.