Andy Cole has become the latest pundit to lavish praise on Jack Grealish but told the Aston Villa captain he would be making a mistake by signing for Manchester United.
Grealish has been one of the Premier League’s outstanding players this season and has also become a firm fan favourite in the England squad.
His performances, which include a stunning return of five goals and nine assists in just 15 appearances, have helped push Villa into contention for European qualification.
Grealish was a target at Old Trafford during the summer transfer window before he signed a new five-year contract with his boyhood club.
Ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand has been a vocal supporter of Grealish’s for many years and this week urged his former employers to make a move for the 25-year-old.
“I don’t care if [Paul] Pogba goes or not, Grealish is my man,” Ferdinand told his YouTube channel. “I have known him since he was in his early teens. He came to my restaurant and I got him and his dad some tickets for a game.”
“He is one of those players that has looked at himself in the summer and thought, ‘Yes, I’ve done well last season, I’ve signed a new deal at my boyhood club, and I am going to go again’.
“If I am a manager of a top team in England, a top three or four team, then I would not allow him to stay there, I would go and take him.”
While Cole agrees with Ferdinand’s verdict on Grealish’s talent, he believes a move to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would be a big risk because of the competition at the club from the likes of Bruno Fernandes.
“I think Grealish is a super player,” the former United and England striker told talkSPORT. “I’m not going to sit here and say anything different.
“But I’m looking at Manchester United’s midfield at the moment, where would you play him?
“You look at Bruno [Fernandes], the performances he’s putting in; that’s the position [Grealish] likes to play in. If you put him off the left, [Marcus] Rashford plays there… so where would you play him again?
“But I’m a mere mortal when it comes to things like this. I’m like everybody else from the outside looking in.”