Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has heaped praise on Jack Grealish ahead of his club’s showdown against Tottenham on Sunday at Villa Park.

Villa have endured a difficult campaign so far after winning promotion back to the Premier League through the playoffs last season.

They currently find themselves just one point off the drop zone and face a massive battle to retain their top-flight status for next year.

Grealish has been one of the club’s few shining lights this season as he has continued from where he left off in the Championship last campaign.

Dean Smith has now claimed that Grealish’s rise has been extremely similar to that of Dele Alli, who also made an impact at Spurs straight away following his move from MK Dons in 2015.

Speaking to the Mirror ahead of the match, the Villa boss said: “They have Dele Alli who is scoring goals. I remember first coming up against Dele Alli when I was the manager at Walsall and he was at MK Dons.

“The ability he had at such a young age meant he went straight into a Premier League team and hit the ground running. He showed incredible potential which has continued.

“People have said he had a lean spell earlier this season but he has started scoring again and has always had that quality.

“We believe Jack Grealish has that star quality as well. Jack’s ability is there for all to see.

“It is his first full season in the Premier League this year and he has hit the ground running too.

“He has carried the responsibility of being captain and an Aston Villa fan forward. He looks one hell of a player to everyone right now.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Daniel Levy’s attempt to try and save a few million on Grealish in 2018, is looking worse and worse the more we watch him play in the Premier League. It was clear back then, as it is now, that the midfielder has an abundance of talent and could have thrived under Pochettino.

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