Alan Hutton has heaped praise on Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and admitted that he would like to see the Villans captain play further up the pitch.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-Aston Villa right-back reflected on his former teammate’s start to the season after manager Dean Smith questioned the attacking midfielder’s recent performance.
Speaking after the 0-0 draw with West Ham, the Villa boss revealed he believes Grealish’s performance in the final third wasn’t as good as he was expecting it to be.
Grealish played the full 90 minutes against the Hammers and Hutton revealed that while the 24-year-old only managed to show flashes of brilliance on Monday, he still believes the midfielder can damage any team in the Premier League.
“He had some good points within the game (West Ham) such as the cross to Wesley where he should have really scored, so you can see the flashes of brilliance that he can produce, it’s just about doing that week-in-week-out now,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“Jack wants to be on the ball always everywhere, he wants to make things happen and make the team tick that’s the type of player he is, so occasionally you find he may drop a little bit deeper to make things happen and I think Dean Smith and even myself would like to see Jack hurt teams in higher areas.
“So obviously between him and John McGinn they’re like two No.8s playing up high and with a sitting midfielder it allows Jack to push up further, that’s where I would like to see him as with his ability he can damage any team in the league.”
Grealish has played every minute of Aston Villa’s Premier League campaign so far and has managed to rack up one assist in the process.
In his 2018/19 campaign, the 24-year-old played a crucial part in helping the Villans win promotion from the Championship as he was involved in 12 goals across his 31 league outings and contributed a further two assists during the club’s play-off matches.