Aston Villa hero Jack Grealish hasn’t done enough to earn club legend status, insists Carlton Cole.
Grealish has been with his boyhood club since he was six years old and there are fears among fans he could be about to leave.
The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a £100million move to Manchester City this summer.
He was instrumental in getting Villa back into the Premier League and has been their best player in the two years they’ve been there since.
But it’s a stretch to give him legend status at a club that have been European champions before, says Cole, who believes cult hero would be a more appropriate title for the player.
“For me, no. He’s not a club legend and I say that with the utmost respect, he’s not a club legend,” Cole told talkSPORT.
“I’d say he’s a cult hero. Sometimes it’s not about the amount of time you spend at a club, it’s what you’ve done.
“He’s impacted the club in a good way obviously, they’re in the Premier League and he stayed loyal to them when they went down and Spurs were interested in signing him.
“But there’s got to be more to earn that title of club legend. It comes in stages and I don’t think he’s impacted the club enough to be a club legend.
“Villa fans may disagree with me because if he goes he’ll never be a club legend. The Villa fans wouldn’t class him a club legend if he goes now.”
However, Tony Cascarino believes Grealish can be considered a club legend and is arguably the club’s best player in living memory.
“The only thing I’d say to that is I think Jack Grealish is possibly the best player that Villa have ever had in their history that I can go back and think of in my time,” Cascarino told talkSPORT Breakfast. “How could you not say he’s a club legend with the fans?
“He hasn’t gone and Villa are a very ambitious club in signing Leon Bailey, Emi Buendia has gone there as well. They’re wide men who are quite versatile, who like making space.
“I’d love to see Villa keep him as they’re an emerging club, I think Dean Smith has done an incredible job in taking them from being a Championship team to a Premier League team.
“Every obstacle Jack Grealish has had in front of him, whether it’s been for England, Villa or going up to the Premier League, he’s cruised it. He would be a club legend for me.”
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