Whether he chooses Ireland or not, can we all not just agree that Jack Grealish has a very bright future ahead of him?
It seems impossible to talk about the 19 year old without mentioning the ongoing international tug of war. Granted, that may be as a result of Grealish's own choices to this point but it has nonetheless got in the way of an extremely impressive breakthrough year for the Villa attacker.
Paul Lambert only used him sparingly but once Tim Sherwood took over at Villa Park, it was clear Grealish was ready for first team football. When he did carve out a place for himself in the first team, he didn't waste it. Much of the plaudits may have come for his star showing against Liverpool in the FA Cup but his performances in the latter half of Premier League season were equally impressive.
So much so that Grealish holds a rather impressive record during the Premier League season. Out of all players who made at least ten appearances in the league season, no one managed a higher pass accuracy rating than the Ireland u21 international.
That figure of 92.7% also happens to be held by another player in Europe this season. Xavi may be departing the Nou Camp but he hasn't lost his incredible ability to hold on to the ball. In the past season, the Barcelona legend also found a teammate with 92.7% of his passes.
Now before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, this isn't a 'Grealish is the next Xavi' argument. However, it is a reminder to Grealish's growing number of detractors that he is worth the fuss. If there was a Brazilian 19 year old who had a similar record to Grealish's in his first season in the Premier League, he would justifiably be lauded as a star of the future.
Without trying to raise hopes to unattainable levels, Grealish should be talked about in a manner that his talent deserves.
Stat via WhoScored