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Friday media watch [23.08.19]: Smith back Wesley to shine

Matchday guide: Aston Villa v Everton Inside Training video/pictures: Preparing for Everton
Friday media watch [23.08.19]: Smith back Wesley to shine

Express & Star: Dean Smith has warned the critics to back off Wesley insisting it is far too early to pass judgement on Villa’s £22m record buy. The Brazilian striker, who joined from Club Brugge during the summer, is yet to open his account in the Premier League. But Smith has been pleased with his overall performances and is clearly surprised about the scrutiny already on the new boy’s shoulders after just two matches. It has prompted the Villa boss to launch a robust defence of his man.

Guardian: Dean Smith is not worried. He says he saw enough in the defeats by Tottenham and Bournemouth to suggest his team are coming together and will turn encouraging performances into positive results. He scoffs at suggestions that one player – the record signing Wesley – is under particular pressure to prove his worth.

Times: The Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has made a strong defence of club-record signing Wesley Moraes after his failure to score in their opening two Premier League matches. 

Daily Mail: Jack Grealish will have the opportunity to gatecrash England manager Gareth Southgate's plans when he takes on Everton on Friday night. The Aston Villa midfielder will be in Southgate's focus, with the national team boss and his No 2 Steve Holland due to be at Villa Park for the clash against the Toffees. Grealish, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at U21 level, has long been tipped to make the international breakthrough but is yet to feature in a senior squad.

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BBC Sport: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has signed a contract extension committing him to the club until 2023. The 25-year-old returned in April after a missing a year with a knee ligament injury suffered in the Champions League semi-final against Roma in 2018. The midfielder's previous deal had been set to end in 2022.

Sky Sports: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has backed Philippe Coutinho to succeed on loan at Bayern Munich and admits he underused the Brazilian in his preferred position. The 27-year-old signed for the Bundesliga champions on Monday in a deal that includes an option for Bayern to buy Coutinho from Barcelona for £109.8m at the end of the season.

BBC Sport: Bury could be granted an extra 48 hours to avoid expulsion from the English Football League after it emerged four parties are interested in a takeover. Owner Steve Dale has received four offers for the financially-threatened club, one of which has his backing, reports BBC Radio Manchester. The club has until 23:59 BST on Friday to prove their financial viability.

*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 23rd August 2019