Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva sees what we all see.
International breaks are drab. That isn’t to say international football is tiresome, but when it’s the second one already and we’re only eight matches into the Premier League season, they are, indeed, drab. Throw in Arsenal getting thumped just prior, and they’re markedly worse.
Among the finest in the country at present, he’s done enough even to convince Gareth Southgate that he’s worthy of starting for England. That’s the most telling of all.
Making Rob Holding look like a one-legged Igors Stepanovs at the Emirates Stadium, one couldn’t help but envy Aston Villa for possessing a player of his quality. Someone not just demanding possession all the time, but indecipherable with the ball at his feet. Defenders don’t know whether to go left, right, backwards or forwards, or just hop on the spot *cough*.
Besotting all of England with his talent, Gilberto Silva even drew minor comparisons with Dennis Bergkamp (perhaps purely down to the creative aspect), claiming on his Invisible Wall podcast that he’s a player Arsenal ‘missed’.
"“Grealish, amazing. It seems like he could be a player that Arsenal missed. With his ability, in the middle, he plays beautiful football. He controls the ball, assists and can score goals. He is slightly different from Dennis Bergkamp, but he could be somebody for the future at Arsenal.”"
Arsenal sure do miss a player of Grealish’s skill set, but it’s hard to imagine they ‘missed’ signing him at any point. Not unless £80m was lying around untouched in the bank. That said, watching the Villa forward link up superbly with Bukayo Saka against the Republic of Ireland might’ve prompted a few piggy banks being shattered.
In the long line of ‘players who got away’, Grealish’s name is unlikely to feature regularly, though. Links to Dominik Szoboszlai continue to rumble away and the two aren’t hugely dissimilar, with Arsenal’s deficiencies laid bare for all to see.
Is there another player of his calibre readily available to aid the Gunners’ offensive slump? Szoboszlai is the obvious candidate; Grealish would be the ideal. Shame there is literally zero chance on earth of it happening. Still, something must be done in January.