Conor Hourihane has claimed his teammate Jack Grealish, the Aston Villa captain, is too good for the current team at the club.
Despite Aston Villa’s struggles on their return to the top flight, Grealish has managed to put in plenty of stand out performances thus attracting the attention of some of the top teams in the Premier League.
It is looking increasingly unlikely that Grealish will be plying his trade at his boyhood club next season and Irish international Hourihane is not one bit surprised.
Hourihane feels the Villa captain has taken his game to a new level and that he is too good for the current side at the Birmingham club.
“He’s top, top class. In terms of pure ability and sheer skill and technique level he’s easily the best player I’ve played with to date,” Hourihane said on The Southern Star podcast.
“He’s just got that gift. He runs quicker with the ball. When he faces someone up you’re in real trouble. He’s skipping by the best players in this league so easily.
“He’s developed over the three years I’ve been here – he’s taken his game to a new level – especially this year in the Premier League.
“He’s taken it by storm really, you know. (Playing for the) England team and getting that big move is only a matter of time because, if I’m being brutally honest, he’s too good for our team at Aston Villa.”
The comments have not gone down well with a section of Villa supporters on social media.
Conor Hourihane didn't say Jack Grealish was too good for Villa. He said he was too good for the current team. A very important distinction. #avfc
— matt maher (@mjmarr_star) May 1, 2020
Meanwhile, on the subject of the new Republic of Ireland manager, Hourihane believes it is an exciting time to be heading into the European Championship playoffs and he is looking forward to trying to impress Stephen Kenny.
“I’ve seen a lot of managers come and go in my career and this is another time where I have to prove to a manager what I’m all about. But it’s a hugely exciting time heading into the playoffs in October or November and a new manager always gives new ideas and a fresh buzz.”
However, Hourihane had more of an appraisal for departing manager Mick McCarthy who he thanked publicly for showing him faith and having belief in the Cork man.
“He was massive for me,” said Hourihane.
“He was the one who gave me the opportunity to get a foothold and then make that step. Martin O’Neill gave me my debut and I played a few friendly matches but Mick gave me the faith and belief.
“I think I started the campaign well but my form dipped a bit towards the end, if I’m being honest. But I’ll always have huge thanks for him. When a new manager comes in it’s unsettling as you don’t know what will happen, so for him to put that faith in me was fantastic.”