Tim Sherwood has told talkSPORT that he suggested Tottenham Hotspur should sign a 16-year-old Jack Grealish years ago, but Harry Redknapp turned down the opportunity.
Grealish is now a world-renowned star, having come through the ranks at boyhood club Aston Villa before making a big-money move to Manchester City in 2021.
During his time at Villa, Grealish made 213 appearances, scoring 32 goals and registering 43 assists (Transfermarkt).
He would go on to captain the club and become something of a modern hero at Villa after helping the club return to the Premier League in 2019.
It is well known that years before his £100 million move to Man City (ESPN), Grealish was courted by Tottenham as a youngster (Daily Mail).
According to Steve Bruce, Tottenham had tried to snap Grealish up for just £10 million (Telegraph) but the move was rejected.
Now, according to Sherwood, that move could have happened even sooner, had Harry Redknapp listened to his assistant manager after seeing Grealish in action for the Villa U18s.
He said: “I watched him when he was 16 against Tottenham’s Under-18s, I remember going back to the first-team game at White Hart Lane and Redknapp said, ‘Well, what was the score?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, all I was doing was watching this boy Grealish.”
“It was incredible. I said, ‘[Villa] want to take Jermaine Jenas, we should do a swap for this boy.’ But Harry, quite rightly, said, ‘He’s only 16, by the time he’s in the first-team I’ll be gone’.
“As a football manager, he’s absolutely right, looking after yourself as you would do.”
On the aspect of Jenas going the other way, Sherwood added: “But for the club it would’ve been a great move.
“It would’ve been a great move for Jermaine as he ended up going to Villa [on loan] anyway. There was more need for Jermaine in their team than there was for a young Grealish.
“That’s when you can nick players, when someone’s desperate, if you want a swap now.
“For the here and now they would’ve taken Jenas to try and stay in the league as they were trying to survive for many, many years.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It’s always hard to predict what might have been. It’s very likely that, had we signed Grealish as a 16-year-old, he would have ended up being another Jack Clarke and done very little for us.
Grealish only has the career he does now because he was given the time and space to flourish at Villa.
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