Jack Grealish will be a massive hit at Manchester United after being tipped to sign for the Reds Devils this summer, after a key change in his build was noticed by one pundit.
The 24-year-old has shone on Villa’s return to the Premier League this season, and has contributed nine goals and six assists in all competitions so far this season.
That has led to speculation he may gain an England call and has also seen him linked with a big-money move to Manchester United.
Sunday’s papers claimed United were ready to treble Grealish’s wages to lure him to Old Trafford over the summer and line him up alongside Bruno Fernandes in a dream midfield combination.
However, with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona also mentioned as suitors, competition for United over Grealish is likely to be fierce.
However, ESPN FC pundit Craig Burley is adamant Grealish is set for Old Trafford and claims his bulked-up physique will ensure he is a massive hit at Old Trafford next season.
“Jack Grealish is going to go somewhere,” Burley predicted.
“He played in the cup final on Sunday, he didn’t have the biggest impact but it was always going to be difficult.
“Generally whenever I’ve seen him, I’ve been hugely impressed.
“I think we could see him on his way to the Euros this year, maybe Gareth Southgate has other ideas, but I think he’d be a really good addition to the England squad coming off the bench or going in if there’s injuries.
“He can do a little bit of everything, he’s got a bit of creative-ness about him as well, he can see a pass.
“United are in the hunt for players like that, they were looking at Jadon Sancho, a few others who are a bit younger.
“I think it’s a big possibility, and I think he’ll go.
“I think he does a little bit of everything, he tracks back, makes tackles, he’s bulked up a bit, he’s a strong boy and he’s young.”
Fellow pundit Danny Murphy, meanwhile, believes Grealish’s best position is as a No 10 behind the main striker or as part of a front three.
He also claims the 24-year-old is already better than Liverpool’s Naby Keita and James Milner, as well as England prospects Dele Alli and James Maddison.
“All the players I’ve mentioned have great quality,” Murphy added. “But Grealish has the edge because of his positional range and the fact his particular gifts are extremely rare.”
Smith on Grealish ambitions
“That’s a question we’ll have to answer in the summer,” Smith said.
“Obviously, staying in this league is one of the biggest things to help us keep Jack Grealish.
“He wants to play at the highest level and he wants to win trophies.
“We’re going to work hard. We have to work hard on Sunday to win that trophy.
“Jack’s future, like the rest of the players, is down to what happens over the next three months. What we can do is assess it then.”