COMMENT By Danny Wright
Aston Villa have recently learned that they could potentially be without Jack Grealish for the next three months.
Steve Bruce has found it hard to add to his squad this summer and is yet to bring in any reinforcements to his attack, however he could be forced to now that his 21-year-old winger has suffered a serious kidney injury.
Villa could find themselves drastically short of options on the wing ahead of Saturday’s Championship opener against Hull, but there could be an ideal replacement for Grealish lying just 14 miles away at the Hawthorns.
Bruce should look to lure Jonathan Leko away from West Brom on a short-term loan deal to fill the void that will be left by Grealish.
Baggies manager Tony Pulis has recently suggested that he may consider sending the 18-year-old out on loan for him to earn invaluable first-team experience in the future.
Although Leko plays for one of Villa’s bitter local rivals, he would still be an ideal player to come in and feature in the senior squad while Grealish is out.
The teenager is fast, direct and has plenty of skills in his locker which enables him to be a major threat to any opposing defender.
Much like Grealish, Leko is also adept at playing on both wings and loves to cut inside and fire shots at goal as well as looking for a team-mate who is prolific at putting the ball in the back of the net.
The England Under-18 international has struggled to earn senior football at the Hawthorns, but the logistics of the deal means that he would be a perfect short-term addition to Bruce’s squad.
Villa have to get off to a good start in the Championship this season, otherwise their hopes of earning promotion back to the Premier League could be seriously derailed by the time Grealish is back.
In other Aston Villa news, another defender is set to leave Villa Park on Wednesday.