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'A big pull' - Dean Smith talks Jack Grealish transfer attraction with new signings imminent

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 6 days ago Ashley Preece
CLARET & BLUE: Villa need to move some of their squad players on, but finding a buyer for those players isn't easy
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Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has described how Jack Grealish remains "a big pull" for new signings with Emiliano Martinez and Betrand Traore expected to sign imminently.

The 25-year-old signed a new five-year contract at Villa Park to become the club's highest-paid player after shelving transfer interest in favour of leading Villa into a new dawn.

Both goalkeeper Martinez and Lyon winger Traore are expected to wrap up their moves to B6 in the coming days to take Villa's summer expenditure past £80 million including relevant add-ons.

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Smith, meanwhile, spoke moments after Villa's 3-1 victory over Burton Albion on Tuesday night - and revealed the pull Grealish has when he talks to potential new signings.

Here's everything Smith said:

WHAT HAS SECURING JACK GREALISH DONE FOR ASTON VILLA?

"We have two players through the door before Jack signed his new deal in Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins.

"When I was having talks with them they both asked if Jack was staying and we told them we were hopeful he would.

"He is a big pull for any player that wants to come to Aston Villa because of what he did last season.

"I just think it is a massive statement of intent from the owners and what they want to achieve at the club.

"Jack is talismanic and we are only too pleased he has agreed to stay.

"There was a lot of speculation with a lot of massive clubs in this country looking at him but we could only deal with the player.

"It is a big boost to the dressing room and everyone associated with Villa."

A TOUGH CUP TIE?

 

"We've progressed. We were OK without being brilliant.

"They started bright, won two headers and that told me we weren't at that competitive edge we needed to be at the start of the game.

"They took the lead and we had to work very hard to get back into the game.

"We controlled possession for long periods but I thought we were very slow on the ball, allowing them to get 11 men back behind the ball.

"They closed the space, it was always going to be difficult but we showed some bits of quality: Jack's reverse ball and bits of brightness.

"We have to be better and we know that. That was a game of blowing the cobwebs off."

THOUGHTS ON TEAM SELECTION, QUITE A STRONG TEAM?

 

"The selection was made solely about minutes and getting ready for Sheffield United.

"Jack and Tyrone Mings have been away with England for two weeks, Jack only played 15 minutes Tyrone didn't play any.

"They needed to get themselves up to speed for the Sheffield United game.

"Ollie Watkins has only been with us a week and hasn't played any match minutes. He had 60 minutes against Man United and 70 minutes today.

"Players need to get match minutes, training's not the same as playing the match. A team was picked to get minutes into players."

HOW DID YOU RATE OLLIE WATKINS?

"His movement's great. He got his goal and he's starting to link-up with the players and to get an understanding which takes time.

"I have no qualms over how good he will be for Aston Villa in the season's become.

"He was disappointed the Manchester United goal wasn't in the record books. He'll also be disappointed he didn't get a couple against Burton.

JACOB RAMSEY'S FIRST START, A BIG FUTURE AT VILLA?

"We sent him out on loan last season to Doncaster. He's a player who's got an awful lot of potential and he's starting to fulfill that now.

"He had a really good loan spell at Doncaster and I've got clubs queuing up again to take him.

"He started against a strong Arsenal side in pre-season, scored two goals and deserved his start tonight.

"He didn't let himself down. Looked bright and composed when we needed him to and he's one we'll keep around until the window closes."


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