Darren Bent recalls Jack Grealish’s very first training session at Aston Villa and delivers his verdict on the Man City and England star’s best position

Darren Bent has revealed how Jack Grealish handled his very first Aston Villa first-team training session while still a teenager, and how it was clear there was something in him.

Grealish’s talent was evident from an early age and he trained with the Midlands club’s senior players early in his fledgling career.

Grealish quickly became a star for Villa as a teenager

He of course became a fan favorite at his boyhood club and was given the captain’s armband before moving £100m to Premier League champions Man City.

Bent was one of Villa’s senior players when Grealish took his first steps into the first team and remembered seeing him early on.

“He was in the squad and I was there for his very first training session,” the talkSPORT pundit told Drivetime.

“He was pretty quiet and shy, but every once in a while he would do a touch or two and you’d be like ‘ooh’.

“He would have been a young, young child at the time. I remember coming back from injury and playing in an Under-23 game and he absolutely ran the show.

“At the time he played wide of a three but could also play a number ten, or you would have two keepers in front of the back four and he would sit in that hole.

Grealish played 213 times for Villa before moving to City


Grealish played 213 times for Villa before moving to City

“I like that he comes from the left, but I think Jack’s best position is when you don’t rank him.

“The reason he went for £100million is because he’s a bit of a maverick. He’ll go get the ball pretty much where he wants on the pitch. There’s no no real role for him.

“I get it – the higher you go on that ladder, the more you don’t get that luxury.”

Grealish is starting to find his feet with Man City and has also become a key member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Grealish has endured a mixed period since moving to City

Grealish has endured a mixed period since moving to City

He was used as an impact player during Euro 2020 and there was always a sense of excitement and anticipation when he had the ball at his feet.

On Grealish’s role for England, Bent added: “I think he could also do an effective job from the start. You could even flip him around and say he would be responsible for tiring full-backs for 60 or 70 minutes.

“Yes, top talent.”

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