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Ex-Aston Villa boss McLeish: I knew Grealish would be a star

Former Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish never had doubts about Jack Grealish as he was coming through the club's youth system.

McLeish recalled watching him during academy games and tipping him for greatness.

He told the Claret & Blue podcast: "I'd see Jack with his famous socks down his legs.

"He had that swagger. Watching him as a kid on the field ghosting past people with the ball at his feet. You could see all day long he was going to be a star, no doubt about it, which is why we thought we'd have to pretty well keep him at Villa.

"When Jack came in I saw that, while he wasn't a big shouter, he was a boy who was willing to take the ball in any part of the pitch. The guy I likened him to at the time was Barry Ferguson. He could have played in any stadium in the world and Barry was fearless in taking the ball, saying: 'Just gimme the ball, just gimme the ball!'."

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Paul Vegas

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