Grealish for England says Villa boss
Dean Smith believes it is only a matter of time before Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish forces his way into the England squad.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is well known for giving younger players a chance, and Smith is in no doubt that Grealish has a good chance of pushing his way into the England set-up this season.
Southgate watched the midfielder as he helped Villa back to the Premier League last term and names his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo next week.
Grealish may miss out on the first squad of the season but Smith expects the 23-year-old to eventually make the breakthrough.
Now that Villa are back in the Premier League, Grealish's chances of making the squad should be improved, and Smith says with some consistent, impressive performances at this level, he should get the nod.
"He's getting better and better and once he hits top form sooner or later he'll be in that squad," he said. "It's down to Gareth if he deserves one or not, he's not in control if he gets chosen for the squad. All he can control are his performances.
"If he keeps playing the way he did in the second half against Bournemouth he'll certainly start getting noticed. He's a terrific talent we thankfully have at this club.
"He thrives whenever the pressure is better or greater for him. He is a top player, we see it day in, day out. Others only see it once a week."
Grealish will get another chance to shine this evening when Villa take on Everton at Villa Park. It is Friday night football, which means live television coverage and there is a good chance Southgate will be watching.
As far as other team news is concerned Kortney Hause is expected to return to the squad for the Everton game after a hamstring problem but James Chester remains out with his own hamstring injury.
Jonathan Kodjia is jogging again following an ankle issue but will not face the Toffees.
It will be a tough game for Villa, who have yet to concede a goal this season, but their boss Marco Silva is taking nothing for granted against Villa.
"They like to play good football, offensive football and in my opinion the game will be open and we will have to play to attack," he said. "It is up to us to prove on the pitch we are able to get the three points."
Michael Holland is a reporter with over two decades of journalism experience. A Bolton fan, Michael often writes football articles, as well as having a strong knowledge of golf, cricket and Australian sports.