Dean Smith names Villa signing who has most impressed him this season

Dean Smith has hailed the qualities shown so far by Aston Villa’s impressive summer signing Jota.

The forward could make his second start for the club in the Carabao Cup second-round trip to Crewe on Tuesday.

Villa go to Gresty Road after Friday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Everton, with Jota setting up Wesley’s opener and really catching Smith’s eye.

It was their first top flight victory since relegation in 2016 and Jota’s first start for the club since his switch across the city from Birmingham.

“He showed his quality,” said Smith. “He and Fred (Guilbert) will feel it’s a bit harsh it was their first start because they have done so well in pre-season.

“But they have to earn their starts. They have to earn the shirts.

“I thought Jota‘s performance was excellent and what I expected of him.

“He’s a wonderful little talent. He has great awareness. It was a great ball for Wesley and a great finish.”

Smith is also relieved Villa go to Crewe after getting off the mark against the Toffees after defeats to Tottenham and Bournemouth.

He added: “There’s pressure on every game at this level. Whether it’s Bournemouth or Everton at home, you go into it to win. There’s no more pressure than there was against Bournemouth.”

James Chester (hamstring) is out and Jonathan Kodjia (ankle) is unlikely to be risked in the match.


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