Grealish backed to overcome Spurs disappointment

Steve Bruce hopes the midfielder can now focus on helping Aston Villa to secure a return to the Premier League

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce wants star midfielder Jack Grealish to focus on getting the club back into the Premier League after his proposed move to Tottenham failed to materialise.

Grealish was an instrumental part of the Villa side that just missed out on promotion last season, ultimately losing 1-0 in the play-off final to Fulham. The 22-year-old produced consistently high-quality performances in the middle of the park and impressed supporters with his composure on the ball and exceptional passing range.

A product of Villa’s youth system, Grealish had been linked with a move away from the club this summer, with Spurs bidding £25m for his services, but club owner Nassef Sawiris was quick to turn down the offer and brand the player as not for sale. 

The England U-21 international has reportedly been disappointed with the decision , however, his current boss Bruce believes that he should now put it behind him quickly and concentrate on his duties in the Championship this season.

“I can understand the disappointment from Jack, in some ways, but he has been terrific and respectable towards the club,” said Bruce.

“Let’s be fair, Spurs are a huge club in England and in Europe but he has taken the decision from the owner and hopefully we can move forward.

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“He [Grealish] will hopefully take us to where we want to get to and fulfil his ambitions with ourselves.

“I think what is vitally important to everybody is that the owner has put out a statement of intent.

“There was no figure for Jack and he made that pretty clear that whatever Spurs offered, he was not going to listen to it.

“Not everybody believed it but they can start believing now. He didn’t want to lose his star player. He wants to try and build the team around Jack and we have to respect that.”

Aston Villa were relegated from the top flight of English football for the first time in almost 30 years in 2016 and have spent two seasons languishing in the second tier. Supporters will be expecting the team to go one better than last year in their 2018-19 campaign by finishing in one of the automatic promotion spots and a fully-focused Grealish is vital to them achieving that goal.

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