Sources: Aston Villa set sights on signing 'next Grealish' this summer
Aston Villa are set their sights on signing the ‘next Jack Grealish’ in the summer, Football Insider understands.
Manager Dean Smith accepts there is no like-for-like replacement for the club captain and talisman in his current squad.
A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club’s recruitment team have been tasked with sourcing a maverick young creative talent capable of providing cover for Grealish next season.
The Midlands giants are likely to look at the 17-20 age bracket for the new attacking catalyst.
The plan would then be to develop him into a first-team player over the coming seasons, and one capable of providing the magic moments startlingly absent when Grealish does not play.
The source explained to find the “next Grealish” is likely to centre on overseas markets.
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The skipper, 25, has missed the last four Villa matches due to injury and the team has struggled to create chances.
That was apparent once again in last Saturday’s goalless draw against Midlands rivals Wolves.
Football Insider revealed last week that Smith is not convinced by the credentials of loanee Ross Barkley.
The Villa boss is struggling to fit Barkley into a team structure and there is a feeling from the coaching staff he is a “luxury” player.
Grealish has been outstanding for Villa since their Premier League return.
His top-flight matches this season have yielded six goals and 12 assists, with the latter figured bettered only by