Jack Grealish could return for Aston Villa when they host Spurs on Sunday evening – but Last Word on Spurs contributor Jamie Brown believes that this is not a significant blow ahead of the weekend clash.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith revealed (via Birmingham Live) that Grealish had been training with the first-team and that he was ‘pain-free’.
A final decision on the Englishman’s involvement would be made on Sunday morning, Smith said.
Grealish has missed the last five games after hurting his shin in training.
If he were to return to the fold, it would seemingly represent another blow for a Spurs side who are looking to muster a response to their dreadful Europa League defeat at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb.
Grealish has scored six goals this season and contributed 10 assists – a tally bettered only by Kevin de Bruyne and Spurs’ Harry Kane.
However, speaking on Friday’s Last Word on Spurs podcast, Brown pointed out that Spurs would probably not be facing Grealish at the peak of his powers.
He referred back to Spurs’ resounding 4-1 victory against Crystal Palace a fortnight ago, when Wilfried Zaha made his comeback from injury in the second half.
Zaha did fire a long-range shot against the post but broadly struggled, registering just 16 touches and one dribble (via SofaScore).
“We saw with Wilfried Zaha – we were all dreading the worst when he came back,” Brown said.
“I’m sure Grealish will take one or two games to get back up to speed.
“I think this game actually depends on the attitude of Villa,” he added.
“If Villa are at it, they’ll win the game. If they get lulled into ‘Tottenham have gone, we don’t have to put much into it ourselves’, perhaps we’ll nick a result.”
Villa have sorely missed Grealish’s inspiration in recent outings, following a shock defeat to the doomed Sheffield United and draws against bottom-half opposition in the form of Wolves and Newcastle.
Perhaps this will tempt Smith to rush Grealish back rather than opting for caution – which may play into Spurs’ hands as Brown implies.