Date: 21st May 2021 at 1:10pm
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The Athletic’s Aston Villa correspondent, Gregg Evans, has featured on the latest edition of their 1874 podcast to discuss all things Villa-related. 

Dean Smith’s side will bounce into their final game of the 2020/21 campaign against Chelsea following an impressive 2-1 victory away to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

Would Villa have made if Grealish stayed fit?

Yes

Yes

No

No

However, Evans was clearly frustrated by what could have been this season had their star man, Jack Grealish, remained fit for the full season.

Grealish has only just returned from a shin injury that saw the midfielder sidelined for 12 Premier League games since the back end of February (via Transfermarkt)

Villa will now finish 11th in the Premier League table, however, Evans believes the Midlands club could have achieved a lot more had Grealish stayed fit:

It’s no coincidence that Villa had 20 chances [vs Tottenham]. They had 20 shots on goal, that was the most they’ve had away from home all season, which you know, is quite incredible.  

“And the fact that it corresponds at the time when Grealish comes back and starts for the first time, it’s no coincidence, is it?

“So Villa are much better with him and it’s just a real shame that he missed so [much] of this season. Because I’m convinced if he had been around or had been available for the whole of the season, Villa would be going into Sunday’s game with Chelsea with the chance of European football, if not already secured.”

TIF Thoughts on Evans’ comments…

Initially, Evans’ comments could seem a bit far-fetched, however, when you look at the league table, it suggests otherwise.

Without Grealish, Villa only won three of their 12 Premier League games and despite this, they only sit seven points adrift of Tottenham who lie in seventh.

With defeat against Sheffield United and draws against Wolves, Newcastle United and , it really would have been interesting to see where Villa would sit in the table had Grealish played in those games.

In other news: ‘Main reason why Villa won the game’ – MOTD pundit wowed by ‘terrific’ Aston Villa man