The 24-year-old is being linked with a move to Manchester United and his former team-mate is confident he will succeed at a big club
Jack Grealish is worth “every penny” of the £80 million ($97m) Aston Villa are demanding for him this summer, Alan Hutton says.
The attacking midfielder is in what is expected to be his final season at his boyhood club following his impressive displays in the Premier League this term.
While Villa flirt with relegation as they sit second bottom in the English top flight, Grealish has been their top performer. He is the team’s top scorer with seven goals and his six assists are more than any team-mate has made in the division.
Manchester United are leading the race to land the 24-year-old, but they have been warned they will need to cough up a substantial fee to convince the club to let their captain leave three years before his contract expires.
Former team-mate Hutton believes Grealish would be right at home in a top Premier League team and that Villa are right to set the asking price high.
“Obviously it’s a massive price tag but in my opinion, he’s worth every penny, he’s that good,” the former Scotland and Tottenham full-back told Football Insider.
“He could be a team’s game-changer and that’s no disrespect to anyone at Aston Villa, you know I love them to bits, but for him to be playing with a top-four team I think he’d be outstanding.
“Everybody would be buzzing off him, they would see his quality and I think he would only grow in stature so I totally understand the price tag. Whether what’s happened is going to affect it, I’m not too sure because it’s going to happen to every club.”
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Hutton is the latest figure to heap praise on the former England Under-21 international. Ex-Villa manager Martin O’Neill said this week that the midfielder “certainly” has the ability required to succeed at the top of the Premier League.
“Every time I went to watch him at Swansea, he was getting better and better and he’s had a great start to his United career. He’s a United player as well and someone who United fans will enjoy watching. He’ll beat men, he’ll make things happen and, of course, he has that devastating speed.
“But as I said, more than that for me, is he’s a really good character. I think that’s what Ole has tried to do over the last months, have some really good characters in the dressing room.”
Fernandes in particular has had a major impact in a short time at Old Trafford, tallying three goals and four assists in just nine matches after moving from Sporting CP in January.
Meanwhile, Grealish’s team-mate Conor Hourihane says he fully deserves a lucrative switch to a bigger team and urged England boss Gareth Southgate to call him up to the senior squad.
Grealish made his Premier League debut for Villa in 2014 and has since made 177 first-team appearances in all competitions.