Arsenal legend Ian Wright has revealed he would snub the chance to play for Liverpool or Manchester City right now because of Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley.
The Match of the Day pundit was speaking on his new podcast Wrighty’s House and expressed his admiration for the English duo, who have helped Aston Villa enjoy their most impressive start to a top-flight season in 90 years.
Dean Smith’s men avoided relegation on the final day of last season and have had an exciting start to the new campaign with four wins from their opening five fixtures, including a 7-2 drubbing over Liverpool.
Barkley was one of five new recruits in the summer with record-signing Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez, Bertrand Traore and Matty Cash also arriving at Villa Park.
Wright, who scored 113 Premier League goals, went one further and compared Villa to Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City title winning team in 2015/16.
“If I had to choose somebody [to play for] right now, it’s really weird, I don’t know if I could play for City or Liverpool,” the former Arsenal striker said on his podcast.
“I’d probably want to play for Aston Villa in this moment because of Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley.
“Only because, the work-rate you have to do there – it’s not enough just to be up there for Pep [Guardiola]. I need freedom.
“I need that freedom. Villa are a team now… if they were walking down the street, they’d be wearing the coolest trainers, the coolest trousers.
“I’m desperate for the fans to get back in there for Villa right now,” he continued. “I’ve said already, I’m getting a Leicester vibe. Nearly going down, coming next season and in a Premier League season where I can’t tell you who is going to be top-three, top-four because everything is so inconsistent and chaotic right now… I’d love Villa to just have a blast, Everton to just have a blast.”
Grealish and Barkley are ‘so happy’
Super Jack, who signed a five-year-deal to remain at his boyhood club until 2025, was instrumental in persuading Barkley to leave Stamford Bridge for Villa and Wright is loving the bond the pair seem to have with each other on and off the pitch.
“Do you know what I love about Grealish and Barkley? You can almost just see after the game they’re just saying, ‘Come on, let’s go and play PlayStation, let’s go and do stuff’ – they’re so happy.
“I love the fact Jack Grealish, with the power he’s got there now has said, ‘Go and get Ross Barkley. Go and get Ross Barkley for me because he’s going to help me’. They look so good.”
By Joe Hewlett (@JoeBoxing365)
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