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Dean Smith: He's the best player in the league!

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Dean Smith: He's the best player in the league!
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Dean Smith is in no doubt that Jack Grealish remains the best player in the Sky Bet Championship ahead of the 23-year-old's long-awaited return to action this Saturday.

Grealish picked up a shin injury in early December and has been sidelined ever since, but is in line to make his comeback against Derby County at Villa Park.

The forward has risen to prominence in the last 18 months – being touted by many as one of the division's finest after playing a crucial part in a season that saw us make the Play-Off Final.

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As a result, the club staved off Premier League interest in the summer, with Grealish signing a new five-year deal.

And Head Coach Smith believes that despite a lengthy absence, there's still no player in the Championship that can replicate Jack's qualities.

"It gives everybody a boost," said Smith, as he confirmed Grealish's fitness in midweek.

"Results wise, we've not been as good without him.

"I don't just put that down to missing Jack – there's a number of reasons for it.

"James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe have both been missing, for example.

"But I believe Jack is the best player in the league and any team that loses that kind of quality would suffer.

"We've suffered a bit, so we're looking forward to having him back.

"He's trained well and has worked really hard to get himself into contention. He's pushing for a starting spot on Saturday."

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Dan Connor
By @danconnor 28th February 2019