Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has hinted that there could be a positional change to get the best out of Jack Grealish in the upcoming games.
The Aston Villa midfielder has been fouled more than any other player in the league this season and Smith claims that if Grealish is fouled in the good areas, it could help Aston Villa create chances and score from set-pieces.
Smith has explained that Grealish will have to be more involved in the play. When asked if the 24-year-old midfielder could play centrally, the Villa manager revealed that Grealish is comfortable as an eight or a number ten.
He said (via Birmingham Mail): “Listen, he’s a top player and he gets targeted hence getting 11 fouls yesterday (vs Chelsea). He got nullified in the game because of that as well.
“Myself and Jack have got to find other ways around that. The one thing it does is if they’re fouling him in good areas it allows us to get people up for set pieces. We scored from one yesterday and almost scored from another one when Kortney Hause headed over the bar.
“People do target him in our team because he has been playing very well this season. I felt in the last two games we haven’t been as reliant as Jack but we haven’t come away with the wins we should have.”
“He can play a number of positions. He can play as a No.8 very well. He can play as a No.10 very well and he can play off the left. What you’ve got to do is feed him the ball. (Against Chelsea) we didn’t have enough of the ball to feed him.
“I thought his game against Sheffield United was one of his quietest games. But, after two games, I expect him to be right at it against Newcastle now. As I’ve said, he can play any of them positions mentioned very well.”
It will be interesting to see if Grealish is used more centrally from now on.
The Aston Villa star’s threat was nullified easily in the last two outings and Smith must find a way to involve him more. He will be the key to Villa’s survival hopes this season.
Aston Villa are currently 19th in the league table and they will have to win most of their remaining games in order to beat the drop.
Grealish has been the best performer at the club this season and Villa will have to rely on him to bail them out.