Aston Villa

Alex Bruce claims that clubs face a “massive problem” after Aston Villa boss Dean Smith revealed he could be missing players as and when the season resumes.

The former Premier League defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists it would be “unfair” for the season to come back if clubs are unable to call upon their best players.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Smith revealed he could be missing two unnamed players should the season resume due to their personal circumstances amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

The Villa boss detailed how one of his squad is asthmatic and another lives with a vulnerable family member, meaning they may not be able to return to training due to government guidelines.

Bruce claims that such a situation must be addressed by the governing bodies before giving the green light for games to resume, insisting some clubs could be at a major disadvantage.

“These are all things the Premier League are going to have to sort out, they’re going to have to sit down and figure out which players are going to be missing for each club,” Bruce told Football Insider.

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“Are clubs going to be really affected by this in terms of missing star players who are living with vulnerable people? If Aston Villa were missing a Grealish or someone like that for example, it’s going to be a massive, massive problem for them.

“It all depends on who the players are and it’s up to the governing bodies and football clubs to come up with a solution where it’s going to be fair and every team is on an even playing field.

“Otherwise, for me, if there’s teams that are going to be hugely, hugely affected by it, it is unfair because the Premier League’s big enough competition as it is on an even keel, never mind when you’ve got a couple of your best players missing.” 

Smith and his men currently sit 19th in the Premier League having played a game less than their relegation rivals.

They still have 10 games left to play this season, including a crunch clash against 16th-placed West Ham.

In other Aston Villa news, one “shallow” Villa figure has been blasted after his claims.