Aston Villa have confirmed that Jack Grealish is ready to face Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
The club captain was taken off with a few minutes to go in the victory over Newcastle United at the weekend, and there appeared to be some doubts over whether Dean Smith would be able to call upon his star man for the trip to Turf Moor.
But speaking in his pre-match press conference, Smith revealed: “He didn’t do an awful lot in training (on January 22) and he wasn’t happy I brought him off with a little over five minutes to go (vs Newcastle). I thought it was game over and he’s on four yellows as well plus there’s that risk of getting him kicked so that was the right time (to take him off).
“He didn’t look fatigued but the last couple of days he’s had a tight hamstring. When you feel the game is done you can take a player like Jack off. He is fine. He is available for selection (for Burnley).”
Described as a “phenomenal talent” by former Villa man Kieran Richardson, he has been in scintillating form again this season, leading his side’s charge up the Premier League table and in their hunt for an incredible European place.
In 17 top-flight games this campaign, the England international has bagged five goals and provided ten assists, and would have been a massive miss against Burnley tonight.
His Whoscored average match rating of 7.85 is comfortably the highest of any Villa player in the Premier League this season, whilst his averages of 3.6 key passes and 2.9 dribbles per match also rank him first among his teammates.
He is Villa’s creative lynch-pin, and against a team like Sean Dyche’s men, that bit of class and vision is especially needed. It’s exactly why Smith will be absolutely buzzing with the fact that his captain is all raring to go on Wednesday night.