Ian Wright: Aston Villa could be Premier League’s surprise package

The former forward however warns that star Jack Grealish will need protection from Tim Sherwood.

Speaking on BreatheSport, Ian Wright says he believes Aston Villa could be the surprise package of next season.

The Villans have been busy this summer, with a number of new faces having arrived at Villa Park as manager Tim Sherwood has had both his first summer transfer window and pre-season to contend with.

However, there have also been big departures from the club, with Christian Benteke leaving for Liverpool in a big money move, Fabian Delph heading to Manchester City and Ron Vlaar leaving on a free transfer.

Wright isn’t concerned by that though, and believes the Sherwood factor could play its part after he steered them clear of relegation in the second half of last season.

I’m going to go with Aston Villa for my surprise team,” he told BreatheSport.

“I quite like Villa for some reason. With Tim [Sherwood], I just feel they could do well, I fancy them. They’re going to need goals but I just feel that Tim from the start with a preseason and everything, getting his stamp upon them.”

Greasily needs protection

One player who is likely to be key for Sherwood and his side next season is youngster Jack Grealish, who enjoyed his breakthrough under the former Spurs boss last season.

He had struggled to break into the under previous boss Paul Lambert but was given free reign by Sherwood in the number 10 role, and starred as a result, with his performance in the FA Cup semi final against Liverpool earning rave reviews.

Worryingly though, there have been several incidents off the pitch that have caused concern for the club and Wright says the manager must protect his young starlet to help avoid him going the wrong way.

“He’s got to get hold of Grealish,” he added.

“He looks like he could go the wrong way if he doesn’t sort himself out but he looks like a great player.”

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