EMI MARTINEZ has been blown away by Jack Grealish – even comparing the Aston Villa star to Lionel Messi.
The Argentine goalkeeper moved to Villa Park last summer after helping Arsenal to FA Cup success.
Jack Grealish has been compared to arguably the best player on the planetCredit: EPA
His new Villa team-mate insists the star reminds him of Barcelona legend Lionel MessiCredit: Getty
He has impressed between the sticks for Dean Smith’s side as has his new club’s captain.
Grealish has earned rave reviews for his displays this campaign, finally winning England recognition in the Autumn.
And after spending six months working alongside Grealish, he claims the 25-year-old reminds him of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Martinez told talkSPORT 2: “He [Grealish] is the most talented player I’ve ever seen.
“He never gives the ball away. When I see Grealish running, it’s always a shot on target or a corner for us. He will drive past two or three players.
“I just see Messi with a right foot when he has the ball. You can’t get the ball off him.
“He’s the most talented English player and I’m surprised he hasn’t played more games for England.”
Martinez, 28, said: “Messi is Messi, he’s the best ever.
“But in terms of training, when Jack has the ball, people don’t want to tackle him, they respect him, he can finish, he can chop, he can do everything.
“When I train with Messi for the national team, it’s the same.
“Nobody wants to touch him, he chops people, he treats players like cones. I see that with Jack here.”
Martinez played alongside several top stars during his time in North London.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and World Cup winner Mesut Ozil are just two of the big names he was team-mates with.
However, the South American has no doubts his new Villa colleague is a class apart from them as they prepare for a trip to Brighton tomorrow.
He said: “He’s the most talented player I’ve ever seen, so I’d put him a step ahead of them.”
Emi Martinez left Arsenal for Aston Villa last summerCredit: Reuters
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