The man who coaches the midfielder at club level has promised that he is in top physical condition ahead of this summer’s tournamentAston Villa boss Dean Smith has insisted that Jack Grealish is “100 per cent fit” for Euro 2020 following Gareth Southgate’s “overload” warning regarding his recent injury woes.
Grealish was enjoying another superb campaign at Villa before suffering a serious shin injury in February which forced him to spend the next two and a half months on the sidelines.
The 25-year-old was able to recover in time for the club’s final four Premier League games, and has been named in Southgate’s 33-man provisional squad for this summer’s European Championships, but the England boss has expressed concern over the midfielder’s durability. Editors’ Picks
Southgate on GrealishSouthgate said that Grealish’s minutes will have to be managed carefully when explaining his selection at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I don’t see him as an injury doubt,” said the Three Lions head coach. “I see a realistic view in terms of where can we get to from where he is in the space of two weeks, in terms of 90 minutes, 90 minutes, 90 minutes?
“We risk breaking him. We can’t overload him, so we’ve got to manage that really correctly for his welfare, as well as for performance.”
What has Smith said?Smith has now come out to try and reassure England supporters about Grealish’s current condition as Southgate prepares to whittle his squad down to 26 next week.
“He is 100% fit,” said the Villa chief. “Firstly, we had to make sure he was ready to play for Aston Villa. We wouldn’t take a risk with only four games to go, with a player of Jack’s standing and quality, unless it was the right thing to do.
“We all believed it was the right thing to do – for him and for Aston Villa. Then once the season finished, if he gets picked, which hopefully he does, then it’s the right thing for England as well.
“If we felt there was any kind of future risk then we would have just shut him down for the rest of the season and he wouldn’t have had the chance to go to the Euros.”
Asked if there is any chance of Grealish’s injury flaring up again, Smith added: “It can recur but we’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t.
“It’s like a car: You have the springs on the car to help the balance and that’s what the muscles do in the calf. It helps protect the bone from the loading.
“We’ve just got to build up his muscles in that area – not the muscles that you see on the back because they’re obviously big enough but the smaller ones on the side.”
Grealish’s record in 2020-21Despite missing a large portion of the season through injury, Grealish was still able to contribute seven goals and 12 assists to Villa’s cause in 27 outings across all competitions.
His stellar displays in the middle of the park helped Smith’s side finish 11th in the Premier League, and he also earned his first five England caps, with his international debut coming in a 0-0 draw with Denmark in September.