Dean Smith hopeful that Grealish can propel Villa into the top six

Dean Smith hopes Jack Grealish can propel Aston Villa into the top six as talisman bids to make final push to make Gareth Southgate’s Euros squad

  • Dean Smith hopes Jack Grealish can propel Aston Villa into the top six 
  • The Villa captain is determined to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad 
  • Smith says that desire can help Villa seal a spot in next year’s Europa League
  • Grealish faces fierce competition to make Southgate’s 23-man party 

Jack Grealish’s determination to make the England squad for Euro 2020 can propel Aston Villa towards the top six, says manager Dean Smith.

The Villa captain makes his comeback on Sunday at home to Fulham after missing six games with a shin injury, which also meant he sat out England’s World Cup qualifying triple-header.

Grealish was outstanding in his first games for Gareth Southgate’s side last autumn but competition is fierce for places in the tournament squad. 

Dean Smith hopes that a determined Jack Grealish can help propel Aston Villa into the top six

The Villa captain returns from injury this weekend with a point to prove to Gareth Southgate

Smith said: ‘All players who are hoping to get into tournament football know this is their last chance to impress the managers of their countries.

‘We’ve got 10 games to do that. The players understand that and know they have to go and play well. Hopefully it will be a big benefit to us.

‘I am fortunate I don’t have to make that decision (on Grealish). It’s down to Gareth. But I would be very surprised if he is not included. I would fully expect Jack to be among those mentioned for player of the season.’

Smith admitted Grealish is still not 100 per cent fit after resuming full training only this week, but he is still expected to start given Villa’s lack of creativity in his absence.

Defender Ezri Konsa, 23 — who has also enjoyed a fine season at Villa — has signed a new contract until 2026.

Grealish faces fierce competition to make the England boss’ 23-man squad for the Euros

Aston Villa v Fulham, Sunday 4.30pm, Live on Sky Sports. 

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