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'The ball is a friend of his' - Sherwood heaps praise on Grealish after Wembley display

The Ireland U21 international produced a performance beyond his years during the FA Cup semi-final.

Grealish was involved in both Villa goals at Wembley.
Grealish was involved in both Villa goals at Wembley.
Image: Adam Davy

TIM SHERWOOD BELIEVES Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish could become one of the Premier League’s best players after a fine display in Sunday’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat of Liverpool.

The 19-year-old was a constant threat to the Liverpool defence at Wembley, as goals from Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph secured a first FA Cup final appearance in 15 years.

Grealish played a key role in Villa’s equaliser and then set up Delph for the winner in the 54th minute, finding the England international with a clever reverse pass.

The tricky attacking midfielder has only started twice in the league this term, but Sherwood is convinced that the Birmingham-born teenager is set for a glittering career at the very top.

“He could be right up there amongst the best of them,” Sherwood told BT Sport. “The ball is a friend of his.

“He’s Aston Villa through and through. He lives a couple of miles away from the ground. He just wants to play for Aston Villa and I want to give him the platform to do that because he has earned the right.

“The bigger the stage, the better he plays. I’ve known about him for a while.”

Sunday’s Wembley clash was only Sherwood’s 10th match in charge of Villa since taking over from Paul Lambert, but he has inspired a swift change in fortunes at the club and is adamant that Liverpool were “outplayed” on the day.

“It’s going all right at the moment,” he added. “I’m delighted with that win. We were underdogs but we believed we could win it.

“We outplayed Liverpool to be honest. We created a lot of chances and they resorted to lumping the ball forward.

“The final will be a great occasion. You can’t win this cup with an easy route. If you win it you have to beat the best and Arsenal are right up there.”

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