Date: 16th November 2020 at 1:00pm
Written by: Alan Johnson

Jack Grealish was England’s best player in Sunday’s Nations League defeat to Belgium and I couldn’t help but remember that we spurned the chance to sign him two years ago.

After Aston Villa lost the 2018 Championship play-off final, Jack Grealish was made available for £40m. We only offered £25m for the 25-year-old, however, and had our bid rejected.

Grealish was keen to make the switch, but no deal materialised and now we’d have to pay three times more than what we offered in 2018 to sign him.

Why didn’t Levy just pay up?

Arrogance. Levy thought he could sign Grealish for £15m that summer as Villa were suffering financial difficulties. The Midlands outfit were hit with a £4.2m tax bill by HMRC and were facing a winding-up order.

Former owner and chairman Dr Tony Xia was struggling with cash-flow issues in China and recruited ex-Chelsea executive Trevor Birch to help ease their money worries.

The club had fallen foul of Financial Fair Play and needed promotion to boost their finances. Losing in the playoff final was catastrophic.

Villa were reportedly considering selling their Recon Training Complex as a last resort too. Grealish was their most valuable asset, however, and we could have capitalised if not for Levy.

Our chairman was unwilling to budge when Villa told us to up our offer from £25m and the decision looks really foolish now.

How has Grealish fared since the deal fell through?

Frustratingly fantastic. Grealish scored (6) and created (8) 14 goals from 34 Championship games in 2018/19 and helped Villa earn promotion back to the Premier League.

Billionaire owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris rescued Villa that same season and injected a lot of money into the club after taking over. And after the Midlands outfit managed to stay up in June, their finances are a lot healthier right now.

Grealish scored (8) and created (6) 14 goals from 36 Premier League games in 2019/20 and has scored (4) and created (6) 10 goals from 7 Premier League games this season. He’s now an England international and making headlines for his performance in the Nations League, so we’ve blown it.

I can’t see us returning for Grealish in January, even if reports link us with him, so he’ll have to be the one that got away.

In other news, it’s sad to see Danny Rose playing in Tottenham’s reserve team

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One Reply to “Tottenham screwed up not signing Jack Grealish when they had the chance”

  • “making headlines for his performance in the Nations League”, rewriting history there aren’t you ? So far Grealish hasn’t shown anything at England level to suggest he’s this world class player you are making him out to be. The question is, if Liverpool and City weren’t interested what’s he going to do for us to get us up to their level ? A good player yes, good enough ? the jury is still out.

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