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Dean Smith admits Aston Villa must spend to ease reliance on Jack Grealish

Smith knows Villa need to improve the squad in the summer.

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Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been out since February (Molly Darlington/PA)

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been out since February (Molly Darlington/PA)

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been out since February (Molly Darlington/PA)

Boss Dean Smith admits Aston Villa must spend in the summer to ensure they maintain their progress.

The boss wants to put Villa in a position to improve on their second season back in the Premier League, with the club currently 11th.

Villa have won just twice in 10 games without skipper Jack Grealish, who has been out since February with a shin problem, ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Everton.

Smith has been linked to Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, who scored 26 Championship goals on loan at Villa in 2018-19, and knows his side have not been as productive without Grealish but will take steps to solve it in the summer.

“We are always looking for that, we know we have an exceptional talent on our hands and any team he came out of would be weaker for it,” Smith said.

“We have to make sure we are looking to improve as a squad next season. We looked at it when we got promoted and we had to build a squad from scratch pretty much. We bought in 13 new faces, five this season and we have to add to that squad to keep improving.

“That’s what you have to do to be a force in the Premier League. Next year will be our third season in the Premier League, you are playing catch-up with the bigger clubs and the finances they have had has enabled them to be stronger.

“We have been planning for this window since the last window closed and probably before that. We have our plans and they will continue to evolve.”

Grealish is unavailable for the trip to Goodison Park but has begun to up his recovery after a previously aborted attempt at a comeback.

“Jack’s scan came back positive so we are gradually starting to load him this week. We are a bit tentative with what happened last time,” added Smith.

Smith also confirmed for the first time Trezeguet is likely to miss the start of next season following a knee injury he suffered at Liverpool this month.

He revealed the winger damaged his anterior cruciate ligament at Anfield.

“Yes, I believe (it is an ACL injury),” Smith said.

“He has had a significant knee injury which is normally nine months. We don’t normally like to put timeframes on but that is the average time to come back.”

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Morgan Sanson (knee) is out but Wesley is available after his serious knee injury which had kept him out since January 2020. The striker made his return as a late substitute in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with West Brom.

“It has been great to see him over the last week or two looking like an Aston Villa player again, rather than a recovering player,” said Smith.

“He is a really likable player, for him to come on and almost score the winner just gives him and the whole squad a boost.”

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