Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists it is still too soon to hand Jack Grealish significant first-team minutes, following the promising winger’s lack of involvement in recent weeks.
Aged 19, Grealish has been hailed as one of the Premier League’s most exciting prospects after making his senior breakthrough this season, earning encouraging reviews from four brief top-flight outings and one Capital One Cup start thus far.
With Villa’s recent poor form prompting calls for fresh ideas, fans are eager to see the Birmingham-native handed a chance to help turn things around but, after leaving him out of the past two squads, Lambert stresses that the club's teenage sensation still needs to be handled with care at this point.
‘He’s only 19 years of age, and there have been a lot of things thrust on him,’ he told reporters after the club’s 2-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers on Monday night.
‘I’ve tried doing my best to manage him in the right way, that gives him a really good career.
‘He’s a talent, there’s no two ways about it, a big talent. But he’s got an awful long way to go, he’s got to keep his feet on the ground, no matter how well he does throughout his career.
‘I rely on everybody, not just one lad, that’s a big ask. He’s not started a Premiership game.’