Manchester United legend Roy Keane has detailed what he loves about transfer target Jack Grealish, having worked with him at Aston Villa.
The Irishman spent five months in Birmingham as assistant manager to Paul Lambert – just as the midfielder was making his breakthrough into the squad.
His impressive start to the season, scoring five goals and making six assists, has seen the 25-year-old earn the England call-up, impressing in his latest performance against Belgium.
And Keane has highlighted one aspect of Grealish’s performance that has impressed him most.
Speaking to ITV, the former Villa coach said: “He takes risks. What I love about Jack – and I worked with him at Aston Villa – is his courage.
“Wanting the ball in tight areas, dealing with the ball, getting you up the pitch, winning free-kicks, courage, he’s quicker than you think.
“The way he’s improved over the past six months has been fantastic.
“We keep talking about England winning something or getting to the next level, I think they need a player like Jack to do that. He was outstanding.”
Grealish’s performances have also seen him linked with a transfer to Keane’s former club United, having pursued a deal over the summer.
But the 25-year-old’s decision to sign a new long-term contract at Villa would mean paying a high price for him next summer.
It comes as fellow ITV pundit Ian Wright detailed how Grealish solves a problem for Gareth Southgate’s side.
The Arsenal legend said: “It was a tricky one for him because if he comes in tonight and doesn’t perform, Gareth had every right to say it hasn’t worked out.
“But it’s his awareness and where he pops up. He gets the ball, runs at players with pace and progresses it.
“If we look back at Russia and what we needed… if we had Jack Grealish in that team, if we had that kind of player, it might have been a different outcome.
“He’s totally fearless. He picks the ball up anywhere and he’s comfortable with it and that’s what we needed.”
Grealish is set to become a target for United’s rivals Manchester City, though, as they have made him top priority.
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