Amid all the furore surrounding the now collapsed European Super League, it’s been easy to forget that Premier League football has been taking place over the past couple of days.
Yesterday, it was Chelsea and Brighton who shared a 0-0 draw on the backdrop of the ESL starting it’s eventual breakdown, and tonight, it’ll be the turn of Aston Villa and one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the competition Manchester City who face off.
Dean Smith will have some big calls to make about his team selection, and one man who he knows he will be without against City, is Trezeguet.
The Egypt international is set for a lengthy absence due to injury, and in his place, it’s surely time for Anwar El Ghazi to come in the first-team fold.
The Dutchman hasn’t completed the full 90 minutes since the 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United early last month, and that was his only full game in the Premier League since the turn of the year.
But whenever the £9m-rated El Ghazi has had a consistent run of starts himself, he’s produced some impressive performances. He had a prolific spell in December when he went on goal-scoring spree, bagging five goals in the space of five league games.
And, speaking after his goal against Crystal Palace during that run, former Premier League midfielder Michael Brown said: “Dean Smith told me his training in how he executes those finishes is there for all to see. Craig Shakespeare then backed him straight up when I ran into him later, he just said ‘what a technician he is.’
“He’s practising in training, he has a bad week against Burnley: eight shots, great chances, can’t put one away. Then he scores against West Brom, then goes and puts one in the top bins like he did last night… Magnificent is the word we’re all looking for.”
After losing 2-1 to the champions last week, Smith will be hoping for a game-changer, and El Ghazi’s ability to create a moment of magic like he’s done on occasion this season, could be exactly the kind of thing he is looking for.