Belfast Telegraph

Villa boss Sherwood reveals: Grealish is a one-off

By Sean Taylor

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has revealed his love-hate relationship with teenage winger Jack Grealish.

Sherwood's mixed emotions towards the 19-year-old academy product stem from the fact that he has been making back-page and front-page headlines in recent months.

Grealish shone at Wembley in April as he helped Villa defeat Liverpool to reach their first FA Cup final in 15 years. But just a few days afterwards he was photographed inhaling the popular legal high nitrous oxide.

He was on the wrong side of his manager again during the summer when more pictures emerged of him face down in the street while on holiday in Tenerife.

Grealish is in contention to make his first appearance of the season against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park today after a hamstring injury.

And Sherwood insists he will welcome him back with open arms because he is a rare talent.

"I will back him 100 per cent, he is such a talented boy," said Sherwood. "I love him to death and I hate him at the same time. I want to nurture him to fulfil his full potential. He did annoy me in the summer, but he annoyed himself. Hopefully the penny has dropped with him.

"Young kids make mistakes. But they come through it. He is a one-off - and he is a one-off on the pitch."

Although Grealish and Carles Gil return, Jores Okore remains out with a knee injury and Jose Angel Crespo is still working his way back from a groin problem.

New winger Adama Traore could be included in the squad.

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