Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has claimed that the fans will eventually forgive Jack Grealish after his big-money switch to Manchester City this summer.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has claimed that he understands why supporters are disappointed by Jack Grealish joining Manchester City but they will forgive the Englishman soon.
Grealish, an Aston Villa academy man, rose to stardom at the Midlands’ outfit, establishing himself as one of the best players in the country over the past couple of seasons. Naturally, his rise in stature was bound to attract eyes from the bigger clubs in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old completed a British-record £100 million transfer to Premier League champions Manchester City this summer. Grealish’s departure did not go down all too well with some sections of the supporters, but Smith expects those ‘wounds to heal’ with time.
“Yes, supporters are disappointed because he was our best player, an Aston Villa fan and from the area. But, I think, once the wounds have healed, the fans will realise what he achieved for Villa – and also understand that a player who joined at six years old has gone through the academy and now earned the club £100m – a British record transfer. I have no doubt he will get a good reception when he faces us,” he said.
Further opening up on his former ward’s progress, Smith highlighted that Grealish was the best player he has ever worked with and backed him to succeed at the highest level.
“He’s a unique player, a unique character, and I can honestly say he’s the best player I’ve worked with and I’ve really enjoyed helping his development and him becoming the person he is today. When I first came to the football club, we were 12 games in and he only had one assist. I told him the currency was assists and goals and he started to achieve that over the past three years,” he said.
“Jack will show what he’s worth on the highest stage, in the Champions League – as he did at the Euros. In terms of what Jack can achieve, he’ll thrive playing at the highest level. It’s what he was born to do,” Smith added.
Grealish has, without a question, been one of the top players in the Premier League since he helped Villa back to the top-flight in 2019. The former Villa skipper also shone at the UEFA Euro 2020 with England whenever an opportunity came his way. Having taken the No. 10 shirt at Manchester City, it will certainly be interesting to see what path his career graph follows after his move to the Etihad.