Manchester United target Jack Grealish has been compared to Eden Hazard and Joe Cole by Chelsea legend John Terry. The Aston Villa assistant manager believes the 24-year-old playmaker has a “God-given talent” that few players are blessed with. The fact he is the most fouled player in the Premier League this season gives an indication of how difficult he is to win the ball from.
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Grealish has been Aston Villa’s star man contributing nine goals and eight assists in 31 appearances in all competitions this term.
That form has attracted interest from Manchester United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the hunt for a creative midfielder.
Terry, who has seen Grealish develop since joining the club as a player back in 2017, played with a host of quality players during his long spell at Chelsea.
And he is reminded of former team-mates Hazard and Cole when watching the England hopeful in action.
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“I think he’s similar to Joe Cole and Eden Hazard,” Terry said. “I just think the natural ability he’s got and that Joe Cole had, a God-given talent that not many people are blessed with but he’s certainly got.
“The way he glides past people. He’s quick, but not many people know it – I don’t think he knows how quick he is. He’s a tremendous talent, he gets a lot of fouls in the Championship and now in the Premier League.
“People don’t know how to stop him.”
Villa’s relegation to the Championship in 2016 was the making of Grealish, who established himself as the team’s focal point during their three-season spell in the second tier.
Terry believes that while he has natural talent, the Birmingham-born ace has progressed because of the work he puts in behind behind the scenes.
“You see a lot of players from the outside, but when you go to a club and you’re working with players on a daily basis, you just see how much of a huge talent he really is,” the Chelsea legend added.
“I got to see that in glimpses. He got an injury to his rib in pre-season against Watford, and he missed a big chunk of that season – having Jack fully fit in my season there, I’m pretty sure we’d have gone up.
“Jack’s a phenomenal talent. It’s been a real pleasure to see him grow, work and develop over the last year, two years. He’s shown the whole world this season that he’s more than capable of playing at the top level.
“There’s a side to Jack people don’t see. Jack’s there till 5, 6, 7 in the evening, he’s eating the right food and doing all his gym work.
“That’s all behind closed doors. He’s a top professional, wanting to get to the very top.
“I just hope he keeps improving with us and making us stronger because, with him, we’ve got a real chance.”
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