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Heskey exclusive: 'Massive' Aston Villa must build around Grealish

Aston Villa's storied history has had its ups and downs, yet the club still pushes on in determined fashion.

The Villans currently sit above the relegation zone as they attempt to avoid an immediate relegation after winning promotion just last season, having won their last 2 games in a row to see them in 17th place.

Despite their early season challenges, former Villa striker Emile Heskey weighs in on their current setup and told Tribal Football that Villa have plenty of potential and good foundations to kickstart something big in their history.

"They've got massive potential, easily," Heskey said. "The club has such a huge history and a wonderful stadium but the important part is they don't throw a whole load of money in order to do that.

"They've got the right idea in building a strong foundation, the rest of it will follow such as revenue, player development and retention, and the on field success as a result of all these things."

Part of Villa's recent success has to be attributed to their captain, Jack Grealish.

While the 24-year-old missed the fixture against Liverpool, his presence is undoubtedly a key cog in Villa's midfield, having scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists in 10 games, leading to speculation Manchester United are interested in his services.

During Heskey's stint with Aston Villa, he recalls seeing Grealish with the same incredible talent and potential almost 10 years ago.

It's enough to prompt thoughts of how many young footballers are around the world that don't get recognition or an opportunity.

"It's amazing how far he's come, when I was at Villa he was 15 and getting a run in training with the senior team," Heskey added.

"As a young lad he was running rings around us and making us look silly, we could see the potential even back then. Makes you wonder who else the clubs are producing these days and how many come from the youth teams, especially in your top 4 clubs.

"They'll do alright if they can keep a hold of him, but just as importantly develop players or recruit the right kind of squad around him. He's such an important part to that Villa line up, and it wouldn't surprise me if another club comes knocking for him."

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Chris Sermeno

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