Graeme Souness has warned Jack Grealish that he could ‘end up going down the road of Jack Wilshere’ and have a career plagued by injuries unless he begins to release the ball quicker to avoid heavy challenges.
Grealish, 24, was having a magnificent individual campaign as captain of struggling Aston Villa before the coronavirus pandemic brought football to a halt last month, racking up seven goals and six assists in the Premier League.
The midfielder’s outstanding performances have made him one of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top attacking targets ahead of the summer transfer window, along with Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho.
One major question mark over United’s move remains Grealish’s behaviour off the pitch after he ignored the UK government’s lockdown guidelines to attend a party last month.
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Former Liverpool midfielder Souness is also concerned about Grealish’s playing style which he feels makes the playmaker susceptible to picking up injuries.
‘For me he needs to move the ball quicker,’ Souness said on Sky Sports’ The Football Show.
‘The reason I say that is he takes too many touches, he’s the most tackled player in the Premier League.
‘Is that necessary? I think he needs to see the picture quicker, move it quicker.
‘I think that’s something that he needs to address or he’ll end up going down the road of Jack Wilshere where he’ll get lots of injuries.
‘He’s got to learn to move the ball quicker.’
Earlier this week, Paul Merson described Grealish as a ‘special’ player and claimed the talented Englishman would be a ‘massive asset’ to a club like United.
‘He’s the best three or four-yard passer I’ve seen in the game for a long, long time,’ the ex-Villa and Arsenal midfielder said.
‘People will say: “Three or four-yard passes? So?” but you watch the game and see how many people roll a three-yard pass back to the left back and he has to take a touch to get it under control.
‘Or if someone goes on the overlap and the pass goes out of touch. His passing is always pitch-perfect.
‘He’s a special player, very comfortable on the ball and very gifted.
‘I personally think he’d be a massive asset for any club in the Premier League.’
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