Date: 1st March 2021 at 12:30pm
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Aston Villa podcaster Dan Bardell has made a claim on Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi regarding his place in Dean Smith’s team. 

This comes after Bardell recently co-hosted the latest episode of The Villa View Podcast where he reflected on the Birmingham club’s recent 1-0 win over United in the Premier League.

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First up in this Gareth Barry quiz, which club did Villa sign the midfielder from?

On the subject of El Ghazi, who started the game at Elland Road and scored the winning goal for the Villans, Bardell had this to say about him. (12.01)

He said: “El Ghazi obviously got man of the match and now we’re looking at when [ returns] you’ve probably got to keep El Ghazi on the left because you can’t take him out after scoring again, I think that’s the thing that dented his confidence.

“We’ve seen him come back and not quite look the player he was before that break. I think he’s probably a little bit hurt that he was up for player of the month, scored five in five and then he was just taken straight out, so really it would be very cruel of Dean Smith to do that again and probably unjustified.”

Villa signed El Ghazi on a loan deal from French club LOSC Lille back in the summer window before signing him permanently in July 2019 for a fee of £8.1 million.

Overall, the 25-year-old, who is currently valued at £7.2 million, has made 94 appearances for the Villans in which he has managed to score 19 goals and provide 13 assists along the way (per Transfermarkt).

TIF Thoughts on Dan Bardell’s comments on El Ghazi and his place in the Villa team…

Given how El Ghazi played against Leeds in the absence of Jack Grealish, who is out injured, and managed to earn himself a match rating of 8.28/10, the highest of any player on the day, this shows that he has what it takes to perform at a high level for Villa in Grealish’s place.

Do you think Smith should drop El Ghazi when Grealish returns?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see whether or not Smith decides to take El Ghazi out of the team when Grealish returns from his current injury.

In our view, because Grealish has been Villa’s standout player so far in this campaign with an overall season rating of 7.73/10 for his performances, Smith should try and work out a way in which he can get both Grealish and El Ghazi on the pitch together.