New Aston Villa manager Dean Smith was full of praise for Jack Grealish in the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Swansea City, calling the midfielder “outstanding” but also admitting that he needs help to improve his “goals and assists”.
Smith believes a player of Grealish’s ability should rack up considerably more goal contributions than he currently does so he’s working with his coaches to help put that right.
As per Birmingham Live, Smith said on Grealish: “Jack probably saw me coming and thought ‘Brentford are a total footballing team’ yet all the work last week has been without the ball! He has seen a different side. But that is part of his game that needs to get better.
“He is outstanding. I like the fact he was looking at getting into the penalty box on Saturday which is something I think he can improve upon. He doesn’t have the goals and assists someone of his talent should and that is for me and the coaching staff to help him work on.”
Grealish has scored and created just one goal in 12 Championship appearances this season. The 23-year-old is an attacking-midfielder who plays within the lines and looks to pull opposing players out of position with his movement but isn’t the most prolific in front of goal.
During a loan spell with Notts County, Grealish scored five goals and made seven assists in 37 League One appearances. The England u21 international hasn’t fared any better since. Since Villa’s relegation to the Championship, he’s managed only eight goals and 11 assists in 70 games, so Smith is right to comment on his lowly numbers.
It should bode well for the Villans that Smith is looking to make their most talented player his main focus in training.
Stats from Transfermarkt.