Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has launched a steadfast defence of himself after Graeme Souness’ withering criticism at the weekend.
The Sky Sports pundit revealed he would have relished playing against the 24-year-old, who is now the most fouled player in the Premier League, due to his inability to read the game at a quick enough pace.
Grealish has now fired back at the remarks on social media, and even referred to the amount of chances he has created this season to defy the typically outspoken Scot.
Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has defended himself after Graeme Souness’ withering criticism
The outspoken Sky Sports pundit revealed he has been left unimpressed by the 24-year-old
The Birmingham-born playmaker has won 150 free-kicks this season, bettering the 108 gained by Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha.
And it appears that Grealish’s presence across the field has also led to him carving out plenty of openings for his team-mates.
A table revealing the most creative players in the top flight shows Grealish in second spot, behind Manchester City talisman Kevin de Bruyne. The Villa skipper has fashioned 80 chances altogether for the relegation strugglers from his 2694 minutes on the pitch.
Grealish retweeted the table and retorted that you ‘Can’t please everyone’ in a clear jibe at Souness’ comments.
Grealish stated you ‘can’t please everyone’ and also referred to the chances he has created
He has been strongly linked with a switch to Manchester United this summer, but will have to scrap even harder to ensure Villa’s Premier League status in order to impress the former Liverpool boss.
When asked whether he believes Grealish is a good player, Souness replied: ‘Not sure.
‘If I was a player, I wouldn’t want to be the most fouled player in the league. That means I’m holding onto the ball too long.
‘That means I’m not seeing the picture early enough, I’m taking extra touches when I don’t need to. There is no doubt about it. He has ability and he’s easy on the eye, silky on the eye. But I am yet to be convinced by him.’
Grealish started for Villa in their spirited defeat against newly-crowned champions Liverpool
Grealish once again led from the fore in the Midlands side’s spirited defeat against newly-crowned champions Liverpool at Anfield.
Souness cast his mind back to his successful time on the field in order to make a comparison between Grealish and other notable midfielders – and was left distinctly unimpressed with the Villa star’s tendency to keep hold of the ball for too long.
He added: ‘I think anyone who gets tackled that much is just not seeing the picture quick enough. As an old midfield player, would I have liked to play against him?
‘I would have loved to have played against him. He allows me to get close to him, get physical with him. I don’t want to play a (Paul) Scholes, Xavi or (Andres) Iniesta. They are too quick – they pop it off in one or two touch. I want to play against people like him.’
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