Marcelo Bielsa has praised the growth of Jack Grealish and admits the player has grown in confidence and belief since his England call-up.
Grealish and Leeds have something of a recent history. Leeds faltered in their first attempt at promotion under Bielsa, with Villa sneaking in after a late charge and play-off success.
Towards the back end of the season, Grealish and Villa played out a fiery 1-1 draw at Elland Road. The match was remembered for Bielsa and Leeds allowing Villa to walk in an equaliser. The decision earned Leeds the FIFA Fair Play award 2019.
Grealish’s antics in the game earned him a bit of a reputation with Leeds fans.
However, since his return to the Premier League with Villa, Grealish has taken his game to another level.
Such has been his form that he was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United over the summer. Grealish eventually signed a new deal, but not before admitting the move had been “50/50”.
Since then, Grealish has been rewarded with his first England cap.
And Bielsa admits he will be the man to watch when his side head to Villa Park on Friday evening.
“He’s a very good player,” Bielsa conceded. “It’s normal for a player once he’s been called up for the national team that he’s going to be confident and grow.”
Bielsa expects tough game at Villa
Dean Smith’s side boast the Premier League’s last remaining 100% record.
They also smashed Liverpool 7-2 in their last home match – a game that will live long in the memory for Villa supporters.
As such, Bielsa knows Leeds will be in for a tough evening.
“The results that Aston Villa have had at the beginning of the season don’t need me to comment on them, they speak for themselves.”
“Their victory over the champions shows what good a moment they are currently in.”
Leeds and Bielsa are trying to establish themselves back among the elite.
The United boss admits they are working hard to cement their status as a Premier League club.
“For this institution like us it’s important. We need to show every week we deserve to be in the Premier League,” he added.