With Jack Grealish on the cusp of a £ 100million move to Manchester City, Aston Villa fans will understandably experience a wide range of emotions right now.
Grealish, the club’s talisman and captain, is set to leave his childhood club for the reigning Premier League champions in the biggest summer transfer yet … and in club history. British football.
A wave of calls followed on talkSPORT after the news broke on Wednesday morning, from a mix of disgruntled, angry and understanding supporters.
And while some joined the station to detonate Grealish as “traitor” and “Judas”, many supporters wanted to send their heroes with their best wishes.
“I have no resentment towards him. I am incredibly proud of him. to be honest.
“I think he’s the best player in the league and he’s proven it to us.
“I think Aston Villa fans see him in the wrong way too. He has done a tremendous amount for the club and the owners should be applauded as well.
“They got Villa back on track and this sale says a lot for their business now.”
“Do you know what, I’m thrilled for him. I’m happy for him because he goes to a big club – one of the best clubs in the world.
“It’s probably the best club in the world [right now], and personally I’m happy for him… but you know what, I feel like he’s a bit of a traitor.
“I have the impression that he has left us now and that he has left us a bit behind. His family is from the area, and it feels like he did it for the money.
“Villa would have offered him £ 200,000 a week which is incredible, but I have the feeling that he is a bit of a traitor.
“Personally, for him, I fully understand the movement, but being a Villa fan I’m bitter – but that was to be expected.
“Where does that leave us this year?” He goes to a club with lots of players in his place. Is he going to stay on the sidelines or is he going to play a huge role?
“Thank you for everything he did, he’s a great player. He carried the club, he did it.
“But, I’m telling you what, I won’t wish him any success in the future.”
“It’s not just because he’s going to them [Man City], it’s with any player, it just seems hollow.
“Even Scott Carson won a Premier League at Man City, so when I hear people say oh he’s gone for medals… so what!
“Winning something with the Villa… we’ve never been closer in 40 years to winning something right and not just doing it once.
“Honestly, we could be up there, and for many years. With Jack leaving, it’s like we’re going to spend a few years now.
“I know we’re talking about getting [Tammy] Abraham in and [Leon] Bailey is a great signing and we’re in a great place.
“If it had happened five years, I would have understood it, but it is happening now as we have everything in place to move forward.
“And that puts me off, as a Villa fan he decided not to take this opportunity.”
“To be honest I’m a little appalled by all those Villa fans who are happy to support him and wish him well.
“Obviously I was desperate for Jack to stay, I’ve been a season ticket holder for about 10 years, but this [decision] doesn’t really suit me to be honest.
“Only nine months ago he was sitting signing a contract saying this is my city, this is my home, this is my club and I love what the owners are building.
“It all seems like nonsense now. Did he really mean that?
“You are guaranteed to win trophies with City… he’s not a very ambitious footballer if you ask me.
“Especially when you look at what Villa is building at the moment, we have a real chance to break into Europe.
“I’m a die-hard Villa fan and if I was good at football… what would I do?
“I wouldn’t want to go to City where I’m going to be a player where I’m going to be forgotten in a few years.
“I prefer to play for my childhood club where I’m the captain and get whatever I want, push for Europe and become a legend for the next 50/60 years.
“I would blackmail the whole stadium for me and I would have a statue of me outside the ground, when as City there will be no one!” “
“I had to ring the bell. One called Grealish “Judas” and another called “traitor”, which I think is really appalling.
“He’s been at the club since the age of five and has made a huge contribution to where we are as a club now.
“I think we’re in a very healthy position and the £ 100million we got from his sale will take us even further.
“I accept that he is a huge loss for Villa and I think at the end of last season where we lost him for two months and one, we clearly weren’t the same team without him.
“I think being way too dependent on a player cannot be healthy for a club of Villa’s stature. I trust the owners and I trust Dean Smith.
“While I’m upset that Jack is gone, I’ll probably sulk for the rest of the day, get up in the morning and figure out where we’re spending the £ 100million.”