Former Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell has admitted that Jack Grealish needs to leave the club in order to fulfil his potential.
Grealish has been Villa's standout performer so far this season, scoring nine goals and creating eight more in 31 appearances across all competitions.
The 24-year-old's performances have seen him linked with a number of England's top clubs, with Manchester United understood to hold the strongest interest in his signature.
Villa face the threat of relegation from the Premier League this season, currently sitting in the bottom three with 10 games to play, and Vassell acknowledged that the club captain's future lies away from Villa Park.
"I always get asked about Jack Grealish's situation. I want him to stay through supporting Villa - he's one of our own," he told Stadium Astro.
"But he's so good now, where could he end up if he went to a better team with better players? Is it right to hold him back? If you look at history, you've got Gareth Barry and James Milner who left for City. Top quality players went on to bigger and better things.
"So I think it's a matter of time. He's so good, how can other teams not be tempted to come in and steal him? I don't like saying it but he's got to go at some point.
"Unless Villa get new owners and are buying the best players, go and get the most for your career. I don't think Villa fans would blame him – he's played his heart out and done brilliantly. At the end of the day, I wouldn't be surprised."
Grealish has been with Villa since 2001, going on to make 177 appearances for the senior team so far.