Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has received his first call-up to the England senior squad ahead of the forthcoming UEFA Nations League schedule.
The 24-year-old was a standout performer for the Villans on their return to the Premier League last term, scoring eight goals and adding six assists in 36 outings.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate had come under fire for leaving out the playmaker, but he has now received his first call up after Marcus Rashford and Harry Winks withdrew from the squad.
Grealish has previously represented England at Under-21 level and was a member of Southgate’s 2016 Toulon tournament-winning squad.
Southgate’s squad for England’s Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark next month certainly raised eyebrows.
Grealish himself appeared to weigh in on the debate by ‘liking’ a social media post suggesting the England manager was wrong to leave him out while calling up uncapped Kalvin Phillips – the Leeds midfielder who has yet to make an appearance in the top-flight.
The likes of Wayne Rooney and former Villa man Lee Hendrie also suggested Grealish was unlucky not to be chosen.
Hendrie, who used to be teammates with Southgate, said the decision was ‘personal’.
And talkSPORT’s Jamie O’Hara echoed these claims, insisting Grealish, who turns 25 next month, deserved to be picked.
O’Hara said: “I thought he’d have an opportunity. I’d have put him in midfield; I would’ve started him to see if he could handle it. This is the time to see if he is good enough to play at the top level.
“I think it’s personal as well. Not in terms of he doesn’t like Grealish as a person. When you look at Grealish with the mistakes he’s made in the past, his off the pitch antics, that’s where the problems lie with Southgate.
“Southgate doesn’t trust him. He doesn’t trust him to put him in the squad and give him the highest honour of playing for England.
“Come on, he’s been one of the best players in the Premier League in a poor side. I think Grealish has been Villa’s standout performer, he’s been fantastic for them.
“It’s not about his performances, it’s that Southgate doesn’t trust him to put him in that England squad and behave himself.”
Title: Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish called up to England squad for first time as Harry Winks and Marcus Rashford withdraw from international duty
Sourced From: talksport.com/football/753185/aston-villa-captain-jack-grealish-called-england-harry-winks-marcus-rashford/
Published Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2020 14:14:13 +0000