Aston Villa grant time off for internationals

Villa will grant their international stars an extended break to ensure they are fully rested ahead of the new Premier League season.

Croatia's Ante Rebic (left) and England's Tyrone Mings
Croatia's Ante Rebic (left) and England's Tyrone Mings

The bulk of the first-team squad will return to Bodymoor Heath on Monday to begin preparations for the 2021-22 campaign, which kicks off at Watford on August 14.

But that will obviously not include Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings, who are still away with England at Euro 2020, while Emiliano Martinez and Douglas Luiz remain on duty with Argentina and Brazil respectively in the Copa America.

The quartet will be given a sufficient break to recover once their involvement in the international summer has concluded.

It means Grealish, Mings and Martinez are unlikely to report back until toward the end of the month, though midfielder Luiz is not expected back until August and will likely miss the start of the season, after being selected for Brazil’s Olympics squad.

Those players who were involved in internationals at the start of the summer, including Conor Hourihane and Bertrand Traore, will also be allowed a few extra days away and aren’t expected back at Bodymoor until the end of next week.

Boss Dean Smith was keen to give his players as much recovery time as possible after completing the most congested season in Premier League history. Villa’s squad had just three weeks off between the end of the pandemic-delayed 2019-20 season and the start of the next campaign.

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