14 October 2014 17:18
Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has agreed a new four-year deal with the club after a string of impressive cameos this term.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has impressed off the bench for Paul Lambert’s side this term after a long-term loan spell at Notts County in League One last season.
A Republic of Ireland under-21 international, Grealish came through Villa’s youth system and his new deal is likely to ward off reported interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Birmingham-born midfielder, who scored five goals in 39 appearances during his time with Notts County, spoke of his pleasure at being able to secure his future.
“I’ve grown up supporting the club – in fact, I’ve had a season ticket at Villa since I was four years old and came to every game – so this is a big thing for me and my family,” he told the club’s official website.
“All of my family are Villa fans and my dad [Kevin] has been there from the start, all through my career he’s followed me and he hasn’t missed a Villa game this season.
“For the manager and the club to show this faith and trust in me, I’m really appreciative and I’m determined to repay that trust.
“I know I have to continue to kick on and push on now, I have to keep developing and progressing and I have to strive to be as good a player as I can possibly be.
“I look at some of the other players who have come through the Academy and who are playing week in, week out, following in the footsteps of someone like Gabby Agbonlahor. That’s my motivation and I’m really determined to do everything I can to contribute to the Club.”
His sole start to date came in a League Cup defeat to Leyton Orient in August, although Lambert believes Grealish can become a key part of the club’s future.
“There’s always an excitement around a young player who comes through the academy, but the potential we have signed in Jack Grealish is great for everyone connected with Villa,” the Scot explained.
“He has a long way to go in the game but the potential that’s in him, we believe, means we could have a really good player in the years to come.”