Lambert risks harming Jack Grealish's progress by refusing to play him

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

Aston Villa either have to play Jack Grealish or allow him to leave on loan for the benefit of his development.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert must either use Jack Grealish or allow him to go out on loan to further his development.

The Irish midfielder is tipped to be the brightest talent come through at Villa in some time, but his progress is being impeded by Lambert's reluctance to use him in the first team.

The exciting winger was stopped from going out on loan by Villa this season because Lambert felt that he had something to offer the senior side, but the Scot has been strangely reluctant to utilise him so far.

Grealish has made just five appearances for the side this season and his only start came in the Capital One Cup. 

This simply isn't good enough for a player who has proven that he is ready to cope with the demands of playing first-team football. 

The 19-year-old was one of the best talents in League One last season and he is perfectly capable of dealing with any physical demands that are thrown at him.

While he may not be blessed with natural power and his skill in possession attracts rough-hand tactic, Grealish is not afraid of competing.

To the contrary, there is a certain kind of arrogance about his performance that suggests that he enjoys winding his opponents up to the point where they have to resort to kicking him to stop him. 

He is an obvious talent, but Lambert has favoured youth over experience and, for the good of his most exciting academy prospect, he must decide whether this is a policy that will remain.

There has arguably never been a better time to throw Grealish into the starting line-up - given Villa's struggles for goals lately - but Lambert may be keen not to expose the youngster to a relegation battle. 

The pressure is on the squad to start picking up results and Lambert may feel that is not an environment conducive to starting inexperienced players. 

If that is the case, he must think about loaning the jinking wide man out. There has been a number of Championship clubs enquire about his availability, but all their efforts have been rebuffed. 

It seems a selfish move on the club's behalf at the moment, as Grealish needs first-team football to develop and is used to playing regularly following his loan spell last year. 

A temporary move for Grealish may leave Lambert without a possible attacking option, but he has to think about the progressof  a player who is so young.

If Lambert is going to be too cautious to put Grealish in the side, then a loan switch before Thursday's deadline is something which he should allow. 

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