Aston Villa Academy graduate Jack Grealish was obviously a massive loss for us as he was ruled out with injury earlier in the 2018/19 Championship campaign, and as we all know, whilst he wasn’t the sole reason our form fell off the proverbial cliff, he was a big part of it.
Having returned to fitness at the beginning of March, the 23-year-old had an almost immediate impact on the squad once again and since he’s been back we’ve got ourselves back into the Play-Off mix with five successive victories in the second tier.
Again, Jack isn’t the only reason for that but he’s played a telling role in the turn of form we’ve seen as he’s contributed two goals and one assist, but his movement has its own benefits that statistics don’t show.
On his return, he was also handed the captain’s armband and he’s been wearing it with pride ever since and as the buildup to the Sheffield Wednesday clash continues, head coach Dean Smith spoke to the Official Site about how Jack has grown in the role.
“When I first came here, I soon saw he was a lot more mature than perhaps the perception I had before. He’s certainly taken on the responsibility of being the leader of the group really well. He thrives on it. His performances have shown that. Off the pitch, he looks like he’s enjoying that responsibility. It’s made him a more rounded person. He’s very respectful. He likes looking after the players – whether that be sorting out their tickets or making sure they know what time they have to be somewhere. He’s doing really well at the job.”
I think fans would agree we’re certainly seeing that pride come through in his performances so long may it continue.