Anwar El Ghazi has been “pushed about” to accommodate the more talented members of the Aston Villa squad — but now is the time to assert himself.
That is according to 202-time Villa right-back Alan Hutton, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the Egyptian’s disappointing performance in the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday.
The 25-year-old stood in for Grealish who could, according to BBC Sport, miss up to a month of action with an unspecified injury.
The Egyptian international was withdrawn from the action after 67 minutes after winning just two out of 17 duels and failing to complete a single cross (Wyscout)
Hutton feels sorry for El Ghazi as it is not easy to emulate the magnificent Grealish, but he needs to do better if he wants to be anywhere near the starting XI.
He told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I kind of feel for him. He was in great form not that long ago just before Ross Barkley came back and then he was kind of pushed about in the squad to bring Ross in.
“I think that’s his position that he likes on the left-hand side, he likes to cut in. But there was a lot of pressure on him going into that game, trying to fill the shoes of Jack which is difficult at the best of times.
“But he needs to give more. He’ll probably know that this is a big opportunity to come in and show everybody what he’s capable of, and it didn’t go well for him the other day.
“You’ve got the likes of Traore who’s playing really well. You’ve got Trezeguet who will be pushing him also for that place. So if he does get that opportunity again, he’s really going to have to step up and perform.”
Aston Villa have won just once in their last four Premier League outings but still maintain a very creditable 8th place league position.
They have already surpassed their 2019-20 points total (35) with 15 games left to play.