After two false starts ahead of the defeat to Brentford and draw with Stoke, Jack Grealish has been declared fit to feature against Derby County.
Grealish has been out since the 2-2 draw against West Brom at The Hawthorns in December, a period in which Villa had begun to show the style of play that might finally propel us from The Championship.
However, since then, Villa’s form has collapsed, resigning many to the reality of another term in the second tier of English football.
Whilst we naturally welcome back Grealish to the fold, it will perhaps put into the spotlight the chronic under-performance of a number of figures in his absence.
The form of Hourihane has suffered most notably, with the Irishman struggling to contribute anything of note to a Villa side crying out for a creative spark.
El Ghazi, who looked to be forming a dangerous duo with Grealish, has been woefully inconsistent too.
Even the terrier like John McGinn has looked lost to resolve Villa’s malaise on his own.
Whilst it’s not yet been confirmed if Grealish will go straight into the starting eleven at Villa Park this weekend, he is definitely in the match-day squad. That can only be welcome news.
Grealish’s recuperation is well documented with the more recent delay to his return being attributed to medical caution.
Dean Smith told the official site:
Jack has trained well and is available for selection.
Whether he starts or not, we’ll have to wait and see.
He’s trained well and has worked really hard to get himself into contention. He’s pushing for a starting spot on Saturday.