}); The making of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa to Man City, in line with Gabby Agbonlahor - UK News Broadcasts
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The making of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa to Man City, in line with Gabby Agbonlahor

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With socks down, hair slicked again and calves bulging, there’s something instantly putting about Manchester City’s report signing Jack Grealish.

An alien travelling to the Etihad for the primary time would in all probability establish him as the very best participant earlier than a ball is even kicked.

Grealish is the new main man at Man City – and is relishing his role as the £100m man

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Grealish is the brand new predominant man at Man City – and is relishing his function because the £100m man

He won’t be fazed at taking the no.10 shirt from club legend Sergio Aguero

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He received’t be fazed at taking the no.10 shirt from membership legend Sergio Aguero

Fairly frankly, no person may carry themselves that means with out being ridiculously good at soccer. It’s the pink boots in Sunday League vibe.

Particularly not a 16-year-old, turning as much as senior coaching at Aston Villa for the primary time.

“When did I first meet Jack?” – Villa legend Gabby Agbonlahor sits down with talkSPORT and scans his mind.

“It was when he got here and educated with the primary workforce beneath Paul Lambert.

“I keep in mind seeing this little child together with his socks all the way down to his shins.

Grealish has been skipping past players in a Villa shirt for most of his life

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Grealish has been skipping previous gamers in a Villa shirt for many of his life

“Us older professionals, introduced up old skool, we have been shocked together with his socks and shin pads.

“As soon as he obtained the ball, everybody knew there was a cause why he was totally different, the boldness with the socks.

“Each different participant would come socks pulled up, massive shin pads, however he knew he was particular.

“Everybody was shocked at how good he was.”

He provides: “In coaching, he’s excellent. I used besides him up within the air and kick him as a result of I couldn’t get close to him.

Grealish was mixing it with the Premier League’s best from a seriously young age

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Grealish was mixing it with the Premier League’s finest from a severely younger age

“He’s the very best participant I’ve ever educated with.”

With out going full Love Island on you guys, Grealish grew to become one thing of a heartthrob throughout England’s Euro 2020 marketing campaign.

He’s in all probability the closest factor to a modern-day David Beckham, with the self-importance to match..

“He’s all the time within the mirror, doing his hair,” Agbonlahor jokes. “Earlier than coaching, after coaching. Each time he’s out and about, he desires his hair to look good.

“It’s gone to a different degree now, everytime you see him, it seems to be like he’s had a haircut an hour earlier than.”

Grealish’s hair is iconic, to be fair

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Grealish’s hair is iconic, to be honest

That hairstyle could take off in Manchester

That coiffure may take off in Manchester

Agbonlahor and his teammates knew they have been watching somebody particular, somebody who would ultimately develop into the costliest Premier League signing in historical past.

From one boyhood Villa fan to a different, Agbonlahor believes that is solely the beginning for Grealish, having witnessed the expertise first hand.

“I believe he can go all the way in which,” the previous ahead predicts. “I obtained laughed at about six months in the past after I in contrast him to [former Barca star Andres] Iniesta, the way in which he performs. Lots of people will have a look at that and see what I used to be making an attempt to say.

“He’s at an enormous membership now. For me, there’s no cause why he can’t get the Ballon d’Or. He’s obtained each little bit of expertise wanted for that.”

With so many chapters to the Grealish story already written, it definitely doesn’t really feel like the beginning for a person who remains to be solely 25.

Agbonlahor has been there for many of it, first as a sceptical teammate, then extra lately as a fan and a pal.

Grealish recently joined Manchester City in a record breaking £100m move from Aston Villa

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Grealish lately joined Manchester City in a report breaking £100m transfer from Aston Villa

They each grew up in Birmingham and fantasised about enjoying for Aston Villa, with Grealish’s dream turning into actuality on the age of six.

Inside ten years, there was a spot for him on Villa’s bench for a Premier League match in opposition to Chelsea, and by 2014 he was making his debut in opposition to Man City.

Quick ahead seven years and the Premier League champions themselves would snap up that scrawny child with the massive calves for £100million, however let’s not oversimplify.

Rather a lot has occurred to Grealish in that point, not all of it good.

As a young person, the midfielder ran the danger of growing a ‘dangerous boy’ popularity among the many tabloids after a string of misbehaviours.

It hasn’t been plain sailing to this point for Grealish

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It hasn’t been plain crusing so far for Grealish

Tim Sherwood needed to warn him in opposition to inhaling nitrous oxide, Remi Garde banished him to the youth workforce briefly for staying in Everton to exit clubbing after a defeat, and he was even advised off by former chairman Tony Xia for partying.

As lately as 2020, Grealish was fined by Villa for ignoring authorities steering and going out through the pandemic.

However these tales have develop into much less frequent, and Grealish writes most headlines together with his toes lately.

Trying again, Agbonlahor picks out the primary second at Aston Villa which turned the person right into a celebrity.

“The second I assumed he could be a high participant was the FA Cup semi-final in opposition to Liverpool in 2015 at Wembley,” he continues.

Grealish delivered a Man of the Match display

AFP

Grealish delivered a Man of the Match show

“To be that assured as a younger participant. Once I was that age, I’d’ve crumbled and tried to do the fundamentals.

“That was the sport when he stood out to Aston Villa followers and we realised he was particular.”

Grealish’s expertise was by no means doubtful, however many questioned whether or not or not he would make it.

When Villa have been relegated in 2016, Grealish performed 16 league video games and misplaced all of them, setting a brand new report.

Nonetheless younger, it took Grealish a few years to settle into skilled soccer, and life within the Championship, away from the highlight, in all probability helped.

Grealish waved to Villa fans for what he thought was the last time in 2018 during a game against Hull

Getty – Contributor

Grealish waved to Villa followers for what he thought was the final time in 2018 throughout a recreation in opposition to Hull

By 2018, Tottenham needed to signal him, and Grealish even waved goodbye to followers earlier than the deal dramatically fell by way of on the eleventh hour.

Villa supporters will eternally be pleased about that accident, as Grealish introduced them again to the Premier League through the 2018/19 season, that includes a memorable match at St Andrew’s in opposition to arch-rivals Birmingham.

Agbonlahor recollects: “My favorite second was the native derby in opposition to Birmingham at St Andrew’s. I knew how a lot this meant to him earlier than the sport, as a result of he all the time stated he needed to do what I did, and rating in opposition to Birmingham at St Andrew’s.

“The best way the sport went – he was attacked by a fan, stayed on the pitch, and it was inevitable he would get the objective after what he’d been by way of. I believe it was his future to attain that objective.

“He loved the reception he obtained. I’m certain for those who requested him, it will be one among his favorite moments.”

Grealish was infamously assaulted by a Birmingham fan in 2019

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Grealish was infamously assaulted by a Birmingham fan in 2019

He went on to score after the incident

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He went on to attain after the incident

Again within the Premier League as a modified man, Grealish would quickly present everybody the expertise Agbonlahor had seen in coaching all these years.

A beautiful objective in opposition to Manchester United at Outdated Trafford in 2019 sparked the start of two season which made Grealish one of the admired gamers in England.

“It was a objective that made even Manchester United need him,” Agbonlahor says.

“Not many individuals go to Outdated Trafford with the boldness to chop inside and bend it into the highest nook.”

Now an England star with the world at his toes after untold moments of magic, this story is way from over.

And even probably the most anguished Villa followers, like Agbonlahor, will wrestle to comply with the remainder of this story with out rooting for its protagonist.

Bidding farewell to his mate, Agbonlahor says: “Thanks for every thing you’ve carried out for Aston Villa, for me, for the followers, he’s a legend. Hopefully sooner or later he’ll comply with in Ashley Younger’s footsteps and are available again!”

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