Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley are both key to Aston Villa’s ambitious plans for success, having combined well so far this season.
Grealish has long been Villa’s talisman, consistently demonstrating his craft, guile and technical quality even in difficult spells for the club.
The 25-year-old playmaker has been a revelation since Villa’s return to the Premier League in 2019, almost singlehandedly dragging them to safety last year with some inspired performances.
Despite only signing a new contract last summer, to help ward off interest from Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur amongst others, Villa are already preparing to offer Grealish a deal that will see him paid £200,000 per week, according to 90min (opens in new tab).
Villa have been much better this season and the arrival of Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea has helped to share the creative burden.
As a result, Villa are looking to make Barkley’s move permanent, which could set them back somewhere in the region of £40million.
Barkley and Grealish have struck up a good understanding over recent months, which has borne fruit in improved performances and results.
A 1-0 win over Arsenal, which meant that Aston Villa had completed the double over the Gunners for the first time since 1993, leaves Dean Smith’s side in ninth, just five points shy of a Champions League spot.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Villa, who narrowly survived relegation with a 1-1 draw against West Ham United on the final day of last season.
They have been much improved since the additions of Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore.
Ross Barkley hasn’t been able to play as frequently because of a hamstring injury, which ruled him out for eight matches, but has looked lively whenever he’s been available.
All 12 of his Villa appearances have been from the start, and he’s scored winning goals against Southampton and Leicester City, as well as the fifth in an incredible 7-2 rout of reigning champions Liverpool on his debut.
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