Aston Villa news: Jack Grealish tipped for Tottenham, replacement identified

That’s according to David Prutton who says Grealish still has the ability to join a top Premier League team but needs to show his class more regularly.

The midfielder was tipped to move to north London in the summer.

But after a protracted transfer saga a deal failed to materialise. He subsequently penned a new five-year deal with Villa.

“Grealish was a little disappointed [that the move didn’t happen] and I’ve had this discussion with a lot of people,” Prutton exclusively told Express Sport.

“When Grealish is at his best, he’s a technically gifted footballer who is capable of real ingenuity and creativity.

“But, the fact he’s only scored three Championship goals, astounds me.

“You’re talking about a player like this with a goal return like that.

“There is the whole theory that players step up a level when they’re surrounded by better players.

“Dele Alli is an example of that although admittedly he was a slow burner.

“There’s a school of thought that Grealish would be in the same position.

“But I think, for the prices they’re talking about, over the course of a season I still think he can control games more and dictate the tempo.”

Prutton, who played over 400 professional games, says Spurs’ overtures will have affected Grealish in the short term.

He added: “I think he would have been distracted by Tottenham. It would have been human nature for that to have been the case.

“He’ll have seen what’s going on at Spurs and how exciting it is. New ground, top manager, and top-level players.”

Villa value their prized asset at over £30m.

But with Tottenham still desperate to bolster their ranks, another raid remains a possibility.

With Dean Smith now in the Villa Park hot seat, Prutton reckons a swoop for Brentford ace Sawyers would make sense.

“If you look at the way Sawyers’ career has gone it mirrors Smith’s in many respects,” he said.

“Again, it would be another big step up for a player.

“You look at Scott Hogan. He’s one that’s been there for quite a while and has done okay in fits and starts. It’s consistency, but you can say that about lots of players.

“With Sawyers – I’ve always enjoyed watching him. At Walsall he was a player that could make things happen.

“At Brentford the system they play suits him and he’s a bigger fish in that pond. At Villa it would be a real test.

“He’s got the ability, after that it’s about being able to cope with the demands a Villa crowd would put on him.

“Any new player that comes in will instantly get compared with what’s gone before.

“If they played in a way that got the best out of him – as Dean did at Brentford – then for the price he would probably command I don’t think he’d be a risky punt.”

* Signed, matchworn poppy shirts from games throughout the Championship will be auctioned by Sky Bet this weekend, with all proceeds going to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.