Aston Villa: Paul Lambert wants Jack Grealish breakthrough

Aston Villa's teenage winger Jack Grealish is being challenged by his manager Paul Lambert to force his way into the first team this season.

Grealish, 18, made his Premier League debut at the end of last season after spending the bulk of the campaign on loan at League One side Notts County.

"He's got a lot of big players in front of him but he's got to try to get in that group," said Lambert.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert on Jack Grealish

"He's a young kid who's still learning the ropes but he's done his chances no harm."

"You're looking for him to give me a problem, that he can do something."

Grealish played a part on Villa's pre-season tour of the United States and scored in their 3-1 defeat at Chesterfield in their latest friendly on Wednesday.

"He's done really well on the tour. He didn't disgrace himself and more than held his own," Lambert added to BBC WM 95.6.

"He looks like he can handle a football but he's a young kid who's still learning the ropes - but he's done his chances no harm."

Grealish got his first taste of Premier League football when he came on as an 88th-minute substitute in Villa's 4-0 defeat at champions Manchester City  in the penultimate game of last season.

Prior to that he scored five times in 38 appearances in an eight-month loan at Meadow Lane.

Villa continue their pre-season schedule with a trip to the Netherlands to take on Dutch top-flight side Groningen on Saturday, 2 August.