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Aston Villa join Leeds United transfer chase as Dean Smith makes this admission


A fan of Sam

Aston Villa are ready to rival Leeds United for highly rated Coventry City youngster Sam McCallum, according to reports.

The 19-year-old has earned plaudits this season after being put into Mark Robins’ high flying first team.

Football Insider have reported that Villa bosses have earmarked the defender as a potential transfer in the January transfer window.

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It is claimed that scouts from B6 will be monitoring McCallum’s progression over the next few months. And it won’t be a long journey to see him, with the Sky Blues currently playing their games at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s stadium.

Leeds United are one of a number of Championship clubs also believed to be tracking the left back, who signed with City in 2018.

Smith on Jack

Dean Smith is confident Jack Grealish is cranking into life in the Premier League – after dwelling on his opening day mistake at Tottenham Hotspur.

Grealish returns to north London when Aston Villa take on Arsenal on Sunday and Smith is pleased with his captain’s progress.

The midfield playmaker gave the ball away on the edge of his box in the defeat at Spurs, resulting in a Harry Kane goal as Villa suffered late agony.

Smith reckons that rare lapse has played on Grealish’s mind and forced a overly cautious approach not usually associated with the skipper.

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Grealish and his team-mates were guilty of wasting possession at times during Monday’s draw with West Ham as sloppy decision-making let them down.

But his manager has words of encouragement for the academy graduate ahead of the match at the Emirates.

“I thought Jack was better on Monday evening,” said Smith. 

I thought, certainly first half he created the best chances we had in the game, Wesley for the header, Guilbert for the header, he got in behind them a number of times.”

Arsenal preview

Before a pesky suspension intervened, Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan had started all four of Aston Villa’s opening Premier League fixtures since completing his £8.5m switch from the Turkish Super Lig.

‘Trez’ looks certain to make another start at Arsenal on Sunday and, now that one-match ban is out of the way, Aston Villa will hope he can start living up to his billing on a consistent basis.

When the Egyptian winger joined Villa in the summer, his credentials were backed up by an impressive list of stats.

Trezeguet completed more dribbles than the likes of Eden Hazard, Jadon Sancho and Federico Chiesa last season to place himself third within the rankings of the top European leagues.

For context, only three Premier League wingers attempted as many take-ons as Trezeguet.

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He made an average of ten dribbles per 90 minutes for Kasimpasa last term.

Trezeguet impresses across the attacking board, but his defensive contributions can be overlooked at times. His high fitness levels allow him to cover the flanks, and support full backs in a defensive shape.

The fan verdict

With five games played, even the biggest Jack Grealish fan would admit he has failed to hit the heights so far this season.

The talismanic Aston Villa skipper has endured a low-key return to the top flight, after almost single handedly dragging his boyhood club back to the Premier League.

The 24-year-old was at fault for one of Tottenham‘s goals in the season opener, an incident which his manager Dean Smith admits may have knocked his confidence.

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And the Villa fans are certainly not running out of patience with the Solihull-born midfielder, but they do believe some tactical tweaks could help to get the best out of him.

We asked supporters to rate Grealish’s season so far, with the majority believing a small change in the line-up could reap great rewards.

Nilesh Mistry: I think he has been really good, one of a few that plays with fire and passion and looking to drive Villa forward whilst getting back to defend.

Neal Makh: He is one of the most fouled players so it tells you that he is feared and respected and they don’t want him in dangerous areas so would rather bring him down.

Jason Greaves: We haven’t seen him at his best at all. I think he needs a goal to boost his game. Mings to be captain just to show jack that other ppl wonna lead our great club and to put some pressure on. I’m sure we’ll get the best out of him. VTID

Matt Hemus: Playing too deep thus not hurting the opposition

 



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