Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish.png
Personal information
Full name Jack Grealish
Date of birth 10 September 1995 (1995-09-10) (age 25)
Place of birth    Birmingham, Flag of England England
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Winger
Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current club Flag of England Aston Villa
Number 40
Youth clubs
2001–2013 Flag of England Aston Villa
Senior clubs
Years Club App (Gls)
2013–
2013–2014
Flag of England Aston Villa
Flag of EnglandNotts County (loan)
010 00(0)
037 00(5)   
National team
2011–2012
2012
2013–
Flag of Republic Ireland Republic of Ireland U17
Flag of Republic Ireland Republic of Ireland U18
Flag of Republic Ireland Republic of Ireland U21
0000(3)
0000(2)
0000(1)

Jack Grealish (born 10 September 1995) is a professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Aston Villa as a midfielder.

Eligible to represent either England or Ireland internationally, Grealish has been capped by Ireland up to U21 level.

Background

Grealish comes from Solihull in the West Midlands. He qualifies for the Republic of Ireland through his father Kevin Grealish from County Dublin and paternal grandfather from Gort, County Galway. He is not related to former Ireland captain Tony Grealish.

Club career

Aston Villa

Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa

Born in Birmingham, England, Grealish is a lifelong Aston Villa fan and joined his hometown club as a six-year-old. At the age of 16, he was named as an unused substitute in the Premier League match against Chelsea in March 2012. Grealish was part of the club's under-19 team that won the 2012–13 NextGen series.

Loan to Notts County

On 13 September 2013, Grealish joined League One side Notts County on a youth loan until 13 January 2014 and was handed the number 7 shirt. He made his Notts County debut on 14 September 2013, coming on as a 59th-minute substitute for David Bell in a 3–1 away defeat to Milton Keynes Dons. On 17 January 2014, Grealish extended his loan with Notts County until end of season. He ended his loan with five goals and seven assists in 38 appearances.

Return to Aston Villa

At the end of his loan with Notts County, Grealish returned to Aston Villa and made his debut on 7 May 2014, coming on as an 87th-minute substitute for Ryan Bertrand in a 4–0 away defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League.

In May 2014, Grealish played in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens, he finished as topscorer with six goals as Villa won the Shield title. On 16 August, Grealish made his second appearance for Villa coming on as a 71st-minute substitute in a 1–0 league win against Stoke City. With his contract due to expire in the summer of 2015, he was offered a new four-year deal by the club in September 2014. On 14 October 2014, Grealish signed a new 4 year contract with Aston Villa. Grealish made his first start in an FA Cup 3rd round tie against Blackpool at Villa Park, which won 1-0. He played 75 minutes before being substituted.

International career

Despite being from England, Grealish has so far opted to represent the Republic of Ireland at international level. He has represented the Republic of Ireland since first being called up at the age of 14 and has won caps from under-15 to under-21 level.

England are known to have been pursuing the Birmingham born player, even naming him in their U17 squad in 2011 at the age of 15 – an invitation he declined.

After being left out the Ireland U19 team for three qualifiers in October 2012, the English FA made an approach for him to switch. Ireland U21 manager Noel King revealed in May 2013 that the 17-year-old was pondering a switch to England so he was not considered for a friendly against Denmark, although King later stepped in to assure Grealish and his family that he was a part of his plans.

He made his U21 debut for Ireland as a late substitute against the Faroe Islands in August 2013. In 2013, Grealish reaffirmed his desire to continue representing Ireland.

In August 2014, Grealish was again named to the Ireland U21 squad. It was initially reported that he would decline the call up to the U21s due to being undecided over his international future, however Grealish did turn out for Ireland U21 in a 2–0 loss against Germany. It later emerged that Grealish had actually declined a call up to the senior Irish team after talks with Martin O’Neill. In October 2014, Grealish pulled out of an Ireland U21 squad for a game against Norway to play in a behind closed doors friendly for his club Aston Villa and England U21 manager Gareth Southgate confirmed that the FA were monitoring the player's situation. On 17 October reports emerged that Grealish had declared for Ireland and would make his senior debut the next month but this was denied by the player.

Playing style

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish showing his classic image: socks rolled down, shorts rolled up and very small shin pads.

Grealish plays as a winger or attacking midfielder with incredibly quick skill and footwork. Bryan Jones, Aston Villa's former academy director, likened his playing style to that of Nottingham Forest legend John Robertson, citing his "ability to just ghost past people".

Conversely, as a consequence of his nimble movement, Grealish has notably been on the receiving end of heavier, more physical challenges from opposing players. Shaun Derry, his former manager at Notts County, highlighted this following fixtures against Sheffield United and Stevenage in early 2014 and called for more official protection. In a 2014 match for Aston Villa against Hull City at Villa Park, a number of fouls committed against Grealish resulted in three Hull players receiving yellow cards within just a 15-minute period.

Grealish is known for his distinct kit preferences. He prefers to wear child sized shin-pads, which are so small that he is often believed to be playing without them entirely. He opts for much smaller shorts than usual; usually rolling them up even further and often wearing nothing underneath them. In addition, he rolls his socks right down. Grealish has revealed that the reason for his distinctive pitch attire is twofold. Firstly, he feels that having completely bare legs increases his ability to control the ball effectively and, secondly, he has a long-standing superstition about his shorts and socks. These unorthodox kit preferences often attract the attention of referees and result in reprimands, but Grealish has stated that he will not change them.

Career statistics

As of 8 January 2015.
Club performance
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Notts County (loan) 2013–14 League One 37 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 38 5
Aston Villa 2013–14 Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2014–15 Premier League 9 0 1 0 1 0 11 0
Aston Villa Total 10 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 12 0
Career total 47 5 1 0 1 0 1 0 50 5

Honours

Aston Villa U19

Individual

External links

Aston Villa FC.png
Aston Villa F.C. squad - 2020–21

1 Heaton · 3 Taylor · 4 Drinkwater · 6 Luiz · 7 McGinn · 8 Lansbury · 9 Wesley · 10 Grealish · 11 Nakamba · 12 Steer · 14 Hourihane · 15 Konsa · 17 Trézéguet · 18 Targett · 19 Bastón · 20 Samatta · 21 El Ghazi · 22 Engels · 23 Jota · 24 Guilbert · 25 Nyland · 27 Elmohamady · 29 Reina · 30 Hause · 31 Sarkic · 36 Vassilev · 39 Davis · 40 Mings ·  Martínez ·

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