Rangers

Alan Hutton has shot down Graeme Souness’ fears that Aston Villa star Jack Grealish could suffer the same injury-plagued career as Jack Wilshere.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has lifted the lid on how the 24-year-old has developed from a teenager into the player he is today.

As the most fouled player in the English top flight, Souness insists that Grealish needs to move the ball quicker or face a career of fitness issues.

“He takes too many touches, he’s the most tackled player in the Premier League. I think he needs to see the picture quicker, move it quicker,” Souness told Sky Sports.

“I think that’s something that he needs to address or he’ll end up going down the road of Jack Wilshere where he’ll get lots of injuries.”

However, Hutton has rubbished the former Liverpool star’s claims, revealing how he has seen the Villa ace booted by opponents for nearly a decade.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Asked by Football Insider if he shared Souness’ worries, Hutton said: “Not a problem. I’ve seen him be kicked up and down the pitch since he’s been 15.

“He’s had the odd injury here or there but don’t worry about that. He’s very mentally strong, he’s physically strong, he’s grown from a boy to a man, he’s got that muscle mass now.

“Jack Wilshere was more of a tackler. If you look at the likes of Jack Wilshere, he injured himself quite a lot going into tackles, whether it be his ankles or whatever. 

“Jack Grealish is not that type of player. Yes, he draws fouls but he knows how to ride the tackles, he knows how to get out the way a lot so it’s nothing I fear. I think the way the game’s going with VAR and such, you have to be careful with your tackling. It’s a dying art if you like.”  

Grealish has missed just two of Villa’s Premier League games this season, with seven goals and six assists under his belt.

West Ham’s Wilshere meanwhile has not been seen since October due to a hernia problem, the former Arsenal man making just 16 appearances since the summer of 2018.

In other Aston Villa news, Kevin Phillips has revealed what the club might do in the summer transfer window.