Aston Villa boss Dean Smith believes Jack Grealish could become a one-club man.
The skipper signed a new five-year deal on Tuesday to commit his future to the Premier League club until he is 30.
Grealish has been at Villa Park since he was eight-years-old and has made 187 appearances for the first team, scoring 26 times.
Villa host Sheffield United in their opening Premier League game of the season on Monday, and Smith – who signed Bertrand Traore from Lyon on Saturday – has tipped Grealish to continue to lead the club for a long time.
“First of all, it’s worrying to think of Jack as a 30-year-old,” he said.
“I’ve said it before that we are very hopeful we can keep growing as a football club. We retained our status last season, now we are looking to build on that.
“The owners have made a statement about where they want to be in the next four or five years and that has to be our aim.
“There are very few one-club-men. Steven Gerrard comes to mind. JT (John Terry) would have been but he saw the light of claret and blue for a season. There’s very few.
“I just like the fact that he wanted to commit and the statement that he made after about his club, his city, his home.
“He’s lived every kid’s dream already by being a fan and captaining them to promotion at Wembley.
“He wants to take that one step further now.”
After Grealish signed his new deal, Smith added forward Traore from Lyon for around £17million subject to international clearance.
The Burkina Faso international began his career at Chelsea and spent time on loan at Vitesse and Ajax.
The 25-year-old boosts Villa’s attacking options following the arrival of Ollie Watkins from Brentford for a club-record £28million earlier this month.
Smith told the club’s website: “We’re delighted that Bertrand has chosen to come to Villa.
“He’s a player with immense talent who will really enhance our attacking options.”
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