Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie expressed his concerns over his old club’s struggle to win matches without Jack Grealish, in an exclusive interview with Football FanCast.
Grealish has been a revelation at the Midlands club this season, managing to score six goals and provide 10 assists for Dean Smith’s side. The 25-year-old, however, has been absent of late due to injury, coinciding with the team’s drop in form.
Villa have won just once in their last five games, a 1-0 victory against Leeds United, and Hendrie is worried about the fall off he has seen in Grealish’s absence.
Speaking exclusively to FFC, Hendrie said:
“When he’s not in that team, it’s so evident. I speak to a lot of fans on Twitter and Instagram and they’re saying ‘oh, well Matty Cash’s not involved’ and I said ‘Matty Cash doesn’t create goals, he doesn’t score goals’.
“I totally agree Matty Cash’s a very good player, but it’s the things that Jack does that maybe some fans don’t understand. If he’s quiet in games, it might be because he’s creating space for other players to go and, you know, generate that sort of area. So he’s just such a clever player and without him at this current moment, it just stands out a million miles.”
Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore and Anwar El Ghazi are just a few other attacking options Smith has at his disposal, with Watkins in particular having really shown his quality this season.
The English striker has managed to reach double figures in his debut Premier League campaign following his big-money move from Brentford in the last summer transfer window. Furthermore, when looking at the overall quality that the Villans have in attack, perhaps Smith should be getting a bit more out of a Grealish-less XI.
Whatever the case, 9th in the table and in the conversation for European football, the Midlands club are still having a very good campaign.