As we are heading into December, transfer speculations are gathering. How much movement will we see across Europe’s Elite? If history tells us one thing, clubs are reluctant the sell their best players mid-season due to the impact it could have on their performance for the rest of the season. Therefore, we should not expect a big transfer across Europe. However, one particular player has been the talk of the town for a couple of seasons now.
Jack Grealish, the English attacking midfielder, has made a staggering transformation in his game since Aston Villa’s return the Premier League. He has become one of the best creative midfielders in the league racking up 5 goals, 5 assists and averaging 2.7 key passes, 4.6 dribbles per game whilst winning 4.5 fouls per game this season. Only Harry Kane currently has more assists than Jack this season.
Grealish recently earnt his first senior call up with the England team and possibly solidified a starting role in the Euro’s this summer after his performances, especially against Belgium.
So, what does this all mean going into the January transfer window? One thing we do know is that clubs will be looking at his availability and despite the player recently signing a long term contract with Aston Villa, this could be purely an investment on Villa’s behalf, making sure they get the right price for Jack.
It was reported that Tottenham had a bid of around £25million rejected for Jack in the summer of 2018, could Spurs be a destination? Following the arrival of Gareth Bale, it appears unlikely for now although, with Bale due to return to Madrid in the summer and media reports that Lucas Moura could be heading out the door due to the lack of game time, Spurs could reinstate their interest for Jack in the coming summer.
One that is a constant whisper in the media in the last 18 months is Manchester United looking at bringing Jack to Old Trafford. With United known to be looking to add quality in wide positions with their failed pursuit for Jadon Sancho, Grealish could be the next best candidate to fill this position. This move may finally free Marcus Rashford’s desire to be the frontman for United.
A similar picture emerges in the blue side of Manchester. Recent reports suggest City’s move for Messi is unlikely, so Manchester City may look for an alternative creative option. It’s believed that Pep is a big fan of Jack’s creative talents and perhaps being linked up with Kevin De Bruyne could be what City need this season to resolve their issue in the final third. With Jack being able to play across the midfield and out wide, this could be an ideal fit and as we have seen over the years, Pep likes to play two no. 10s in a 433 system. However, Pep has previously stated his reluctance to recruit in January so a summer move may be more likely.
In conclusion, whilst Jack Grealish could be heading to Manchester in the January transfer window, a summer move appears more likely and may also bring Spurs back into the market for his signature. With Jack being English, still having a long-term contract and heading into his prime at 25 years of age, it is safe to say this could be a big-money move. Current media reports indicate that Aston Villa value him at no less than £100million and on current performances, he could be a front runner for the Premier League Player of the Season award.
Despite Villa’s lofty valuation, our calculations estimate Grealish’s value to be £13.75m although, as always, this is based on playing experience and does not account for a player’s level of performance. With just three international appearances to date and Villa only just avoiding relegation last season, Grealish has limited experience at the highest level of the game, leading to his low valuation. Should the attacking midfielder continue to feature for the England national team and Aston Villa retain their current position, this valuation could exceed £20m by the end of the season.
Whilst a big move could be on the cards for Grealish, the fee required to acquire the player will carry a significant monetary risk. Grealish has certainly shown the ability to feature for a top Premier League side this season although whether he can carry this level of performance into the Champions League and international competition on a regular basis remains to be seen.