Jack Grealish is facing a huge dilemma over whether to stay at boyhood club Aston Villa or join Premier League champions Manchester City – a decision Gareth Barry knows all too well
Would Man City switch benefit Grealish?
Manchester City’s attempts to complete the transfer of Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish this summer have left the England international with a dilemma over his future.
One former player who can empathise with Grealish more than anybody else will be former midfielder Gareth Barry, who exited Villa in 2009 to join City.
Barry ended his 12-year association with the Midlands club having made 441 first-team appearances and scoring 52 goals in the process before penning a five-year contract with City.
That move came a year after Villa rejected a series of bids from Liverpoolfor their club captain, which Barry at the time criticised as he wanted to be afforded the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
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Grealish is now the talisman at Villa Park having starred in the club’s promotion back to the Premier Leaguein 2019 and subsequently becoming a leading player in the top-flight for the club.
The star is a boyhood fan of the club and has spent the entirety of his professional career at the club, with that close affinity conflicting with the opportunity to join the Premier League champions.
Former midfielder Barry has now spoken about the decision facing Grealish and believes that it will be a near-impossible choice for the playmaker to make.
Barry explained on Monday: “It brings back memories for me – I know where his head could be at the moment and it is such a difficult decision.
“He loves Aston Villa, he supports the team and his whole family do too.
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“His head will be in a pickle at the moment and it will be a really difficult decision for him – he has given his all to Villa for such a long time now, as I did.
“Whether he feels now is the right time to go or whether he feels he can wait another season, I don’t know – you can never know what will happen in life and things can change.
“As a Villa fan you will be thinking to give him one more year and see what they can do, and as a City fan you will be hoping he can come now.
“Jack is still improving and he is capable of taking his game to another level – it is a big decision for him and I feel a little sorry for him, as it brings back memories for me!”
Barry went on to spend four years at City – helping them to win the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title the following year – before spells at Evertonand West Brom, but hang up his boots two seasons ago.
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