After some initial tentativeness at being back on the big stage, the 24-year-old has responded with roughly two months of excellence for Dean Smith’s side, with the question of how he is yet to receive an England call-up best left to wiser footballing heads.
Unfortunately for the Villans he picked up an injury late in the defeat to Manchester City in late October, and hasn’t been seen since. However, unfortunately for Newcastle United, he appears to be in line to return against the Magpies next Monday.
The Birmingham Mail claimed recently that the Englishman is set to re-enter the fray against his former boss Steve Bruce, while he was photographed in training last week, suggesting that he will be back for the Villa Park clash.
That’s news that will likely have the Magpies faithful sweating buckets. This is one of the form players in the Premier League, and his inclusion would pose huge problems to a defence left reeling by the loss of captain Jamaal Lascelles to injury last time out.
Grealish has produced the joint third most assists in the top flight this season, while he has created two big chances, the second most on his team [Source: premierleague.com]. To put the assist stat into context, only six Newcastle players have even managed one this term.
The Villa captain’s statistics for this season highlight why Magpies fans will be so worried. As per WhoScored.com, he has scored four times in all competitions, to go with his three assists, while he is averaging 1.8 shots, 2.5 key passes and 1.9 successful dribbles per game. He is also fouled 4.1 times an outing on average, a quite astonishing number.
Bruce, knowing Grealish’s quality, would undoubtedly have hoped to avoid his old charge next week. However, it doesn’t look like that will be the case.