Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has admitted to being 'half starstruck' when coming up against Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final between the two sides.
Grealish has been Villa's star performer this season, chipping in with seven goals and six assists - the same amount of goal contributions he managed during the Villans' entire Championship campaign last season.
His displays have seen him linked with a move to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, while pundits have been clamouring for the 24-year-old to receive an England call-up.
Despite his rapidly increasing pedigree, Grealish revealed he is still in awe of Man City's Belgian playmaker.
Speaking to Andy Townsend in an interview for Villa TV, Grealish said: "I'm half starstruck when I play against Kevin de Bruyne because he's my favourite player ever. I think he's unbelievable, I think he's easily the best player in the Premier League at the moment.
"He's someone I personally look up to at the moment and try and, not base my game on him, but try and take stuff from his game and put that into mine."
Grealish will likely come up against de Bruyne at Wembley as his Villa side attempt to pull off a huge upset against Man City in the Carabao Cup final. Defending League Cup champions City have won the competition three times in the last four years, and currently sit 32 points ahead of Villa in the Premier League table.
The last time the two sides met, Villa were on the receiving end of a 6-1 humbling at Villa Park. Despite going into the game as underdogs, Grealish says his side are capable of pulling off an upset.
"Cup final day, it's just a one off game, anything can happen, it's just 90 minutes," he added. "Going up against them it's always going to be tough but it's just a one off game and hopefully it will go our way."
Source : 90min