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Aston Villa

Grealish ‘doesn’t see the picture quickly enough’ – Man Utd target criticised by Souness

8:10 PM GMT+4 05/07/2020
Jack Grealish Aston Villa 2019-20
The Scot says that the statistic that shows the Aston Villa man is the most fouled player in the league is evidence of his underlying weakness

Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness has criticised the contribution of Jack Grealish to Aston Villa, claiming that he does not read the game well enough to be a top player.

Though regarded as one of the Villans’ top performers and a reported summer transfer target for Manchester United, Souness is not a fan.

The 54-time capped Scotland international claimed that there is one statistic that is particularly damning of the 28-year-old.

“I would not want to have been the most fouled player in the Premier League. That means I’m holding onto the ball too long, I’m taking extra touches when I don’t need to,” he told Sky Sports.

“It means you’re not seeing the picture quickly enough. There’s no doubt about it. He’s easy on the eye, he’s silky on the eye, but I’m yet to be convinced by him.”

While fellow pundit Emile Heskey argued that Grealish takes so many touches because of a lack of intelligent movement ahead of him, Souness dismissed the claim. 

“When I was being coached at Liverpool, I was told, I make the striker’s mind up, with my body movement, with the way I get the ball out of my feet, with my body movement. I make them run where I’m looking like I’m going to kick the ball,” Souness retorted.

“I just think that anyone who gets that many fouls, is not seeing the picture quickly enough. 

“As an old midfield player, I always think: ‘Would I like to have played against him?’ I’d have loved to have played against him because he allows me to get to him, to get physical with him.

"Do I want to play against Paul Scholes, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, who pop it off one or two touch? I want to play against people like him because I know he’s going to let me mess him around.”

Villa currently find themselves in the teeth of the relegation battle in the Premier League. Prior to their Sunday kick-off against champions Liverpool at Anfield, Dean Smith’s side lay 18th in the standings, though a single point behind Watford, who are currently in the 17th spot, which signifies safety.