The 24-year-old has been in red hot form for Villa this season but this has certainly come at a cost since the attacking midfielder has constantly been the subject of nasty tackles from opponents.
So right before Villa travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea, Dean Smith has urged the referee to provide better protection to Jack Grealish.
Smith said[as quoted]: ‘I certainly would. There was a bit of a tag team on him (at Old Trafford). When somebody gets targeted then they certainly need a lot more protection.
‘It seems to be that they want to foul him around the halfway line before he gets any further. We certainly got four or five of them at Old Trafford in the first half an hour.
‘The officials are there to protect the safety of the players. If they’re doing their job okay, then I’m okay with Jack getting a couple of whacks.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 1, 2019
‘I expected him to be the most fouled. He protects the ball so well, his balance is exceptional, he is a great ball carrier, and he does give defenders problems.
‘Certainly, once they’ve had a caution – which I feel a lot more players should have done – then he gives them a big problem the next time he is running at them. He gets whacked all the time but just gets on with it. He sees it as a prize that opponents want to kick him.’
Many think this statement will shift the focus to the referee during the Chelsea vs Aston Villa game on Wednesday and every decision of his will be very minutely judged.
As far as Jack Grealish is concerned, the playmaker will surely want to turn up the heat vs Chelsea so it is up to the likes of Jorginho and Kovacic to ensure that he doesn’t get to much space to dictate the pace of the game.