Aston Villa are reportedly set for a major boost as captain Jack Grealish has been tipped to return to the matchday squad against Everton on Thursday.
The 25-year-old has been sidelined by a shin injury in recent months, which in turn has forced him to miss 12 consecutive games as Villa have endured a slump in his absence.
Prior to that injury setback, Grealish had scored seven goals and provided 12 assists in 23 appearances so far this season, and so losing our influential skipper and playmaker had a major impact on both our performances and results.
Having already suffered one setback in his recovery, Villa will no doubt be cautious with him this week, but according to The Athletic, the expectation is that Grealish will return to the squad in midweek as Everton visit Villa Park.
It’s added that there is in fact a ‘good chance’ that he starts the game, but at the very least he’ll be on the bench.
Given he’s been out for three months and with Dean Smith likely to ease him back into action rather than throw him straight back in, the expectation is surely that he’ll come on at some stage if it makes sense, and then he’ll hope to play a more prominent role against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Villa have won just three games out of 12 in Grealish’s absence and in turn we’ve slipped down to 11th in the Premier League table, and so it will be a huge boost to have him back in the side with a handful of games still remaining.
Further, with Ollie Watkins suspended for the Everton game, Smith will need to consider his options on how to fill that void and having Grealish’s creativity and quality back in the side will no doubt help him find a solution.