By Graham Hill
EFL pundit Dean Ashton says Jack Grealish is capable of playing for any of the Premier League’s top sides.
And says the Villa captain is BETTER than England regular and Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.
Former Norwich and West Ham striker Ashton has been so impressed with Grealish’s starring role at Villa Park that he believes more top flight clubs should have him on their radar.
Skipper Grealish has inspired Villa since his return from a three-month injury lay-off.
And his displays have helped Dean Smith’s men into the Championship’s top six.
But Ashton reckons Villa will have a tough time holding on to the player – especially they do not get promoted via the play-offs.
Quest TV EFL commentator Ashton told the Daily Express: “I think that every single club in the Premier League – and I mean even the best teams – in my opinion, should be looking at Jack Grealish.
“He can be that good. He’s got that kind of Ross Barkley style about him, being able to ghost past players, finishing ability as well. But I think he’s a bit better than Ross Barkley.
“I would say eventually his best position is as a number 10, but he can drop deep and sometimes play as a holder.
“But he’s much better when he’s in front of the opposition penalty box and he’s able to play players in or finish himself.
“I’d much prefer to see him in an attacking sense and, as an ex-centre-forward, you need players such as him playing in and around you to give you service to score goals.”
Ashton believes Villa’s promotion hopes could rest on Grealish’s shoulders.
He added: “When Jack Grealish is in the team it’s as if anything’s possible.
“I think that is how crucial he is to that team at the moment.
“You saw when he was injured, they went on a bad run. Suddenly he returns and people are saying they could be making a push for automatic promotion, definitely playoffs the way they’ve been playing.
“They’ve got to play Norwich and Leeds the last two games of the season, so as long as he stays fit, they’ve got every chance.”