Jack Grealish praised for snubbing Man Utd for Aston Villa stay by Gareth Barry

Jack Grealish committed his future to Aston Villa by signing a new five-year deal earlier this week.

That decision has left former Villa and England midfielder Gareth Barry delighted, having found himself in a similar position during his time at the club between 1998 and 2009 amid links to Liverpool.

Grealish, 25, is likely to have left his boyhood club had they failed to stay in the Premier League last season, but he decided to put pen to paper after they secured a finish of 17th on the final day.

Barry has now offered his support to the versatile midfielder, before questioning why he hasn’t been a regular name in Gareth Southgate’s England squads over the last few seasons.

Barry told Daily Star Sport in association with the BT Sport Monthly Pass: “I think it’s fantastic for Aston Villa firstly – to see Jack Grealish leave would have been devastating for the club.

“For him he is still young and I feel like he still has a lot to do at Aston Villa because he’s not played that many games in the Premier League for them.”

The 39-year-old went on to admit that although there might be a better time to leave in the future, Grealish is well placed to continue his development at Villa Park.

He added: “If there is a time further down the line that he feels that he has outgrown them or that he has done all he can, but I felt this would have been possibly too early.”

Grealish made his England debut earlier this month after being snubbed by Southgate for previous squads, which is something that had confused former Everton and West Brom midfielder Barry.

He continued: “I was surprised, not to say that there aren’t other quality players that are getting in the squad ahead of him but for me Jack Grealish is a different type of player to those that have been getting in.

“For that reason I would always have him in especially at the moment in the England squad.

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“No one carries the ball like him, he adds that different style to the team so I’m surprised and I would have him in at least the England squad to have that different option.”

Villa take on Sheffield United on Monday in their opening Premier League game of the 2020/21 season, and Grealish will be expected to play a key role as he did last time out.

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