Joe Cole has tipped Aston Villa’s young FA Cup star Jack Grealish for a bright future at the very highest level.
Grealish was one of Villa’s stand-out performers during their 2-1 victory against Liverpool in the semi-final in April.
And Cole says it was an outstanding day for local lad Grealish. "He was brilliant,” he told AVFC.c.uk. “That's his best game for Villa so far.
"For a young lad to play like that at Wembley is so good to see.
"He's a big fan's favourite as well. He's a young lad but he carries the weight of the fans as well. He's only going to get better.”
Grealish has made 19 appearances so far this term for the Villans – and during his breakthrough season has been taken under the wing of three-time FA Cup winner Cole.
A role the former England international is delighted to undertake.
"I enjoy helping Jack," he added. "I'll continue to do so if he needs any advice.
"You look at the last three games he has started – he's got better every game.
"He works hard and he can be a top player, no doubt."
In addition to his impressive work rate, and similar to Cole in his heyday, Grealish also has an eye for the spectacular.
“He's a real talent and hopefully he's going to be at Villa in many years”
Joe Cole on Jack Grealish
As well as playing a part in both Villa goals the Solihull-born star also drew gasps of appreciation from the supporters packed into the west stand at Wembley.
With the ball high up in the Wembley sky it fell to Grealish who, with one deft touch, controlled it perfectly and continued the move.
"When Jack brought the ball down out of the sky, to have that composure, at that age, in that game, it's fantastic,” Cole added.
"He's a real talent and hopefully he's going to be at Villa in many years."
Grealish's boss Tim Sherwood has also noticed the bond between Cole and Grealish.
"You go in that canteen most days and you'll see Joe Cole talking to Jack Grealish," said Sherwood.
"Joe Cole is a massive influence on him I think. They are very, very similar.
"If Jack can have a career like Joe Cole's had then he wouldn't have done too bad."