Jamie Carragher reckons he knows exactly why Manchester United want to sign Jack Grealish – after suggesting Aston Villa would already have been relegated were it not for the £70m-rated star’s qualities.
Villa captain Grealish has scored nine goals and eight assists in the Premier League this term and has often been the source of his side’s goals throughout the campaign.
The 24-year-old has long been linked with United, with reports suggesting that Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has placed him high on his list of summer targets as he looks to sign the player and form a dream attacking midfield partnership with Bruno Fernandes.
Grealish soured his reputation with some plain crazy antics last week as he first crashed his Range Rover and then was then subsquently fined by Villa after it emerged he had broken government rules on lockdown.
However, United’s desire to sign Grealish is said to be undimished – and Sky Sports pundit has outlined the qualities that attract him to Solskjaer after naming the talismanic Villa star in his Premier League Team of the Season.
“I went for a 4-3-3 because if you look at Man City and Liverpool, they are the two top teams now and that’s the system they play,” Carragher, who also suggested Liverpool may have sold Conor Coady too cheaply, explained.
“On the other side of Jordan Henderson, I went for Jack Grealish. He’s been as influential as any player in those bottom ten teams for their team. I know at the moment Aston Villa are in the bottom three, but I dread to think where Villa would be without him.
“You do not watch every game every team play, but whenever I watch Aston Villa, he’s always the best player, and he always provides something or a moment in the game where you think: “That’s class.”
A clearly-impressed Carragher continued: “The best way to describe him is that it almost feels like every time Grealish gets the ball, the game stops.
“It’s like everyone is waiting to see what he’s going to do, like he’s got time on the ball.”
Discussing Grealish’s future, the pundit added: “Who knows how the season is going to end up and whether Villa go down or not, but there’s no doubt he’s got the quality to play for one of the top clubs in the Premier League or Europe.”
Rio Ferdinand also backs United to sign Grealish
The Red Devils will reportedly choose between Grealish or Leicester’s James Maddison in the summer window, but their former defender reckons Grealish just about edges it.
When asked which of the pair they should sign, Ferdinand said: “Grealish or Maddison? That’s a good question. They’re both flying, both done unbelievably well over the last year.
“Maddison is someone who can get the ball, he can pop it about.
“He gets goals, gets assists, sets up chances, he’s sharp, he gets in good positions to create things. Very good footballer. I like him.
“Grealish does all of that but he has one thing over all these players we talk about in this position for England like Dele Alli, Maddison, Mason Mount in that position, that attacking… that can play off the striker, that can play as an attacking midfielder.
“Grealish can take people on. Grealish gets the ball, he can manipulate the ball, draw players to him… draw one/two players to him leaving space for someone else.
“That’s what I like about Grealish. He’s got that bit of arrogance as well. Knows he’s a good player that’s producing.
“He just edges it for me.”
Grealish’s chances of signing for United, meanwhile, may well have been given a timely lift after experienced Spanish star Juan Mata made clear which club he sees himself playing for after leaving Old Trafford.
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