Dean Smith hopes Jack Grealish can propel Aston Villa to the top six as talisman offers to make final push to make Gareth Southgate’s Euros roster
- Dean Smith hopes that Jack Grealish can propel Aston Villa to the top six
- The Villa captain is determined to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad
- Smith says that wish could help Villa secure a spot in next year’s Europa League
- Grealish faces stiff competition to make Southgate’s 23-man party
Jack Grealish’s determination to make the England squad for Euro 2020 could propel Aston Villa into the top six, manager Dean Smith said.
The Villa captain will make his comeback at home against Fulham on Sunday after missing six games with a shin injury, which also meant he turned down England’s World Cup-qualifying triple-header.
Grealish was excellent in his first appearances for Gareth Southgate’s squad last fall, but competition is fierce for places in the tournament squad.
Dean Smith hopes a determined Jack Grealish can help Aston Villa make it to the top six
The Villa captain returns from injury this weekend with a point to prove to Gareth Southgate
Smith said: “All players hoping to get into tournament football know that this is their last chance to impress the managers of their country.
‘We have 10 games for that. The players understand that and know that they have to play well. Hopefully it will give us a big advantage.
‘I’m lucky not to have to make that decision (about Grealish). It’s up to Gareth. But I would be very surprised if he is not there. I would fully expect Jack to be among the players of the season. ‘
Smith admitted that Grealish is still not 100 percent fit after resuming full workout this week, but is still expected to start given Villa’s lack of creativity in his absence.
Defender Ezri Konsa, 23 – who has also had a great season at Villa – has signed a new contract until 2026.
Grealish faces fierce competition to make England’s 23-man squad for the euro
Aston Villa v Fulham, Sunday 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports.