The 20-year-old midfielder failed to impress on his return to the side in Tuesday night's FA Cup clash at Villa Park.
Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish returned from a bout of tonsillitis to start Tuesday night’s 2-0 FA Cup third round replay win over Wycombe Wanderers, but his performance left manager Remi Garde far from impressed.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who missed Villa’s previous three games while ill, proved largely anonymous on the left wing before being hauled off for Carles Gil with 17 minutes remaining, as the hosts needed two late goals from Ciaran Clark and Idrissa Gana to edge past the League Two side.
He was certainly not his side’s only poor performer on the evening, but having repeatedly underwhelmed since Garde replaced Tim Sherwood at the helm in November, the Frenchman pulled no punches at the final whistle about his star prospect’s need to improve.
Speaking to the likes of the Guardian, Garde said: “You saw the game. Jack started and it was his first for quite a long time now. But I haven’t seen exactly what I wanted to see from him tonight.
“I know he has played in the part of the game when we were not good collectively. It’s not only about Jack; I was not happy with the way the team played the first hour. We were the Premier League team tonight but for too long tonight I did not see that.”
Grealish has struggled mightily this season to replicate the eye-catching displays he produced after breaking into the Villa side during last term’s run-in under former boss Tim Sherwood, making nine starts in 12 Premier League appearances, while scoring once.
As well as being plagued by form and fitness issues, the promising playmaker hit the headlines off the pitch in November when he was pictured in the Daily Mail on a night out mere hours after the club’s 4-0 embarrassing defeat at Everton.
The incident prompted Garde to demote him to the Under-21s for a fortnight and he has since made just one top-flight start after making his first-team return as a late substitute in last month’s 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal.