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'I expect him to get drunk with me tonight!' | Smith coy on Grealish future

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says he will sit down with the club's top brass tomorrow to discus...

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

19:31 26 Jul 2020



'I expect him to get drunk wit...
Soccer

'I expect him to get drunk with me tonight!' | Smith coy on Grealish future

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

19:31 26 Jul 2020

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says he will sit down with the club's top brass tomorrow to discuss, among other things, the future of captain Jack Grealish.

The Birmingham outfit secured their Premier League status for next season after a dramatic 1-1 draw at West Ham United today.

Bournemouth were excellent in their 3-1 win at Everton, but it wasn't enough for them to avoid the drop - Eddie Howe's side will join Watford and Norwich City in the Championship next term.

Speaking to BT Sport after today's results, Villa boss Smith said he predicted a Grealish goal at the London Stadium.

"It's a magnificent achievement from everybody. We were resolute, and I said Jack would score today! It's a proud moment, and it actually feels better than last year going up in the play-offs.

"Whether we'd stayed up or gone down today, I'd have said the same thing: it was a big change we had to make at the football club at the end of the season. Not many people understand we had to build a new squad, people just looked at the money we spent.

"We used the pandemic the best I feel - I lost my father in that period, so there was a lot of disappointment - but we worked very hard, because we knew we had to be defensively better. I'm really proud to lead this team."

The future of Jack Grealish has been a question milling around Villa Park for some time, and if Villa had gone down to the Championship it was expected he would leave.

Smith was non-commital on his captain's future though speaking after today's game.

"I expect him to get drunk with me tonight, that's the only answer I can give you!

"I'll sit down with the sporting director, CEO and owners tomorrow, but let us enjoy this great achievement. We were written off by many people and we've managed to stay up on the final day."

John Giles told OTB Sports recently that he feels 24-year-old Grealish would add significantly to the United squad.

“I think Grealish can play and I think he is limited in what he can do with the Villa team, but he makes the most on what he can do.

“If you put him in the Manchester United team, or the Liverpool team, or the Manchester City team, I think he has the quality to live with those players and really play well. Pogba and Fernandes can’t do what Grealish can do.

“I don’t believe there is a midfield born that can protect the back four. The best way to protect the back four is having the ball and giving the ball to people.

“Now what we had over the years were designated players to screen the back four. I mean, Jesus Christ couldn’t protect the back four.

“I don’t think Pogba is a central midfield player, I don’t think Fernandes is a central midfield player. I think Fernandes is a midfield player at all. He’s a very good goalscoring midfield player. He’s not going to knit it together.

“Grealish can do things in the middle of the field that Pogba and Fernandes are not capable of doing.”

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