Gareth Bale is one of the biggest names nowadays when we talk about transfer news, and rightfully so. The Welsh winger who moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2014 for a record €101 million is set to move out of the Los Blancos due to several factors that made him reconsider his future at the most successful club in the history of the sport. With numerous clubs lining up and counting the money which would bring Bale to their squad, he will end up having plenty of options from Real Madrid to Manchester United and even his former club Tottenham. However, this article will not talk about Gareth Bale and his future, but rather about Jack Grealish, the English youngster, who has been compared to 6 years older Gareth Bale. But who is Jack Grealish, and why is he compared to Bale?
Jack Grealish, born on September 10th, 1995 in Birmingham and Aston Villa player might not be under the spotlight, which is usually the case with players that don’t play in the 1st division football. Nonetheless, he had his fair share of attention in 2015, when he decided to switch from representing the Republic of Ireland to representing England U21 football team. However, since then, he has been flying under the radar. The fact that he has been a part of Aston Villa since 2012 does not help the cause, as he did not have a chance to play in the Premier League where his skills would be noticed quicker. This did not only deprive him of getting the recognition he deserves and valuable experience of playing at the top tier of football and, but also indirectly affected his chances of finally representing his country on the international level.
The England manager Gareth Southgate, who decided to add youngsters into the national team this year has left out Jack Grealish, which might be surprising. Even Declan Rice (20), Callum Hudson-Odoi (18) and Jadon Sancho (18) had their debut representing the English team in a 5:0 win over the Czech Republic, but not Jack Grealish who has not even been called into the team. The match against the Czech Republic was also the first time in 138 years that an England team had two 18-year olds on the pitch. That only proves Southgate’s approach of implementing youngsters into the team. But then again, why didn’t he pick Grealish to be a part of the team? Despite the fact, Southgate admitted he was looking for players lower tiers of EFL, he said Jack Grealish would always be in a disadvantage of not playing in the Premier League. Gareth Southgate stated:
“Jack worked with us in the U21s briefly. Although we can see the quality, when the evidence of the opponent is a different level, that’s where it’s hard to directly correlate what that’s going to look like at a level above.”
“With Callum [Hudson-Odoi], he’s playing Europa League, he’s playing Premier League, which does make a difference.”
“I’m not going to say we won’t pick a player from the Championship because that could happen but it’s far more difficult to assess his level. You see certain parts of the game but not others. Not the physicality at times, nor the tactical discipline. That’s another level in the Premier League: the speed, the pace. So, he’s a player we know all about, he’s a player we track. But that last bit of evidence that could give you the confidence to pick him at the moment we won’t see. But as an ex-Villa man, I hope it’s not too long before we do see it.”
He made it clear that the reason why Jack Grealish wasn’t picked to represent his country is his lack of experience playing at the top level. But why is this Aston Villa player, who was “not good enough” to represent his country compared to Gareth Bale? There are 2 things these two players have in common; agent Jonathan Barnett and Tottenham Hotspurs.
Spurs who have expressed their desire to bring back the Welsh winger to strengthen their squad need to consider the following; signing a player like Bale would take a huge chunk out of their finances. Tottenham, who now have a new stadium and the desire to build a team capable of reaching for the stars should instead of bringing in a superstar look for young players, who could one day be their future stars. One of those players is without a doubt Jack Grealish, who would just like many other young players surely want to join Tottenham project. Spurs have expressed they are looking towards signing the Aston Villa midfielder before, but there are other teams circling Jack Grealish. He has grabbed a lot of attention this season because of his great performances in the Championship League, where he played a key part in Aston Villa great 2018/19 campaign, which could easily end in promotion back to the Premier League. Interestingly enough Tottenham almost signed the young player for £25m last summer, but the deal fell through, however this season it just might happen. With plenty of teams interested in signing him, it would not come off as a surprise if we would be watching at a bidding war, which will surely go over his market value of £25m. As of now, there are three teams reported to be interested in Jack Grealish; Tottenham, West Ham and Bournemouth. Looking at his options, West Ham represents a good option as the team which has high ambitions to appear in European competition. Additionally, they are looking for a replacement of Wilshere who constantly struggles with injuries, so Jack Grealish can expect to play a key role in the team. Bournemouth on the other side are a much-improved team which would guarantee Jack Grealish Premier League games and the needed experience. Then there is Tottenham a top 6 team in Premier League which would put Jack Grealish in the spotlight and would offer him a great place to grow as a player.
Would Tottenham end up signing Jack Grealish, it could prove to be a better option than chasing Gareth Bale and his enormous salary. While Jack Grealish has a lot of work to do before he could be compared to Gareth Bale on the pitch, he is as of now a far better option for Tottenham, not only from the financial standpoint but also as a player who has a lot of potential, which could be utilized to its full potential in a team like Tottenham.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.