Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Theo Walcott told Darren Bent’s Boot Room on talkSPORT that he is a ‘big fan’ of Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish.

The Southampton speedster shared that he played against the Villa man in 2015 for Arsenal in the FA Cup final and he was ‘nowhere near the level he is now’ back then.

Five years ago, Grealish was just a teenager, who produced a Man of the Match performance for his boyhood club against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final before being thrashed in the final by Arsenal.

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Walcott is well aware of what it’s like coming through as an upcoming talent, as he shared his thoughts on the crop coming through for England and stated that ‘one name stands out’.

“I look at the team and I enjoy watching England play,” said Walcott. “It’s probably some of the best headaches to have to try and pick amongst this England talent because to play against a lot of these guys, week in and week out it just shows that they are playing at a top-level.

“One name stands out which I am a big fan of which is Jack Grealish. I enjoy seeing what he does on the field and playing against him.

“I remember playing against him in the FA Cup final for Arsenal (2015) and he was nowhere near the level that he is now. It just shows how hungry he wanted to be and how determined he wanted to be at that level and he is showing it week in and week out.”

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It has been some rise from Grealish since the days the baby-faced teenager was given his first real push by Tim Sherwood.

That Man of the Match performance against a Liverpool team which included Steven Gerrard was just a glimpse of what he was going to produce for his club, and now country, in years to come.

He has had to go down a difficult road to get to his current stage from suffering relegation with Villa and then being the main guy in helping them return to the promised land where he is now thriving amongst some of the best in the league.

In other news, ‘Let him find his feet’: Gilberto Silva sends message to Arsenal fans about rising star