By Graham Hill
LEE Hendrie believes Villa will lose Jack Grealish AND John McGinn this summer if Villa do not win promotion.
Hendrie knows both players are key to the club’s progress under Dean Smith.
But he insists that they will have to move on if they are to make the most of their careers.
Hendrie has been a long time target for Champions League finalists Tottenham – and new Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is thought to be keen on taking McGinn to the King Power Stadium after falling to land him as Celtic boss last year.
Former Villa midfielder Hendrie says it is not only vital that Smith’s side complete the job at West Brom in the second leg of their play-off semi-final, but that they then go on to win at Wembley after missing out 12 months ago.
Hendrie, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “Look at Jack and what he can do on the pitch to break things down, he does that so well.
“And with McGinn coming in this season, that’s given him a bit of a free role.
“McGinn’s just as good as Jack, even though he’s a different player.
“But Jack’s so important, it was a master stroke from Dean Smith to give him the armband.
“That gave everyone a lift around the place.”
But Hendrie knows Grealish cannot go on indefinitely as a Villa player if they are still in the Championship.
He added: “Jack’s getting to the sort of age where he’s maybe missing out on international duties, Gareth Southgate would have given him a call up by now if he was playing in the Premier League.
“It’s crying out for that.
“Villa’s a massive club, and a Premier League club for sure.
“I hope they get promoted this season, if they don’t, the likes of Grealish, McGinn, they’re going to have to move on from this club.
“Not the anyone wants them to, by any means.
“But that’s going to have to be the case if Villa don’t go up, for their own careers, and the financial situation at Villa, that’d be a big question mark for next season. It’s a massive, massive time for Villa in terms of getting back to the Premier League, especially the way they’re playing at the moment.
“As for keeping hold of Jack, the club has to be built around that young man.”