Jack Grealish has been told his England chance will come if he stays patient amid calls for the Aston Villa midfielder to switch his allegiance back to the Republic of Ireland following his latest Three Lions snub.
Grealish is once again a big topic of debate after the Villa captain was left out of England manager Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark.
Many expected the 24-year-old to feature after his brilliant season for Villa and helping the club, almost singlehandedly at times, stay in the Premier League.
But, yet again, he has been overlooked by Southgate, who picked Phil Foden and Mason Mount as his attacking midfielders instead, while Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips also got a call-up.
The decision has sparked calls for Grealish to ditch his England dream and instead return to the Ireland ranks, where there’s little doubt he would go straight into the team.
The Birmingham-born star represented Republic of Ireland at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-21s level, qualifying through his Irish grandparents, but announced in 2015 that he had chosen to represent England at international level.
However, he has only managed seven appearances for the England Under-21s since then, as Southgate has repeatedly left him out of the senior squad.
Speaking following the latest announcement on Tuesday, former Ireland striker Tony Cascarino told talkSPORT it’s time he returned to the Ireland fold.
“I think Ireland would embrace a player of Jack Grealish’s quality,” said the talkSPORT pundit. “If he really doesn’t see himself getting a chance with England, then of course why not going and play international football for Ireland?
“Ireland forgive nearly all things, they don’t question you for too long as long and you give the commitment and desire, the Irish fans would adore someone like Jack. We miss so much quality in the team and he would certainly give us that.”
But his former boss at Villa, Tim Sherwood, has urged the star to keep pushing for a place in the Three Lions team, insisting his time will come.
“He needs to stick to it, he’ll get his opportunity,” Sherwood told the talkSPORT Breakfast when asked about a possible return to Ireland.
“It comes late for some people, I was 30 before I played for England, I thought my time had come, I’d been in 28 squads and not played, sat on the bench watching the boys play, you feel like you’ve had enough.
“But you’ve got to believe, believe your chance will come and eventually it will.
“He’s an exceptional talent and he needs to be recognised and hopefully he will be in time.”
Asked about Southgate’s decision, Sherwood revealed his surprise having long backed his former starlet for a place in the Three Lions team.
But he admitted the manager has a difficult job with so much talent to choose from, with the likes of Dele Alli and James Maddison also absent.
“Gareth has a tough job, there’s a lot of young talented football footballers around and he can’t pick them all,” he said.
“Phil Foden and Mason Mount are the two players he’s going with at the moment, but obviously Dele Alli is not there, James Maddison is not there, Ross Barkley is not there, so there’s a lot of competition, a lot of good players in those midfield positions and Jack is certainly one of them.
“The alarming thing for me is he sees him as a forward, which I don’t, I think he’s something different. He’s someone who can play in the same position as Foden and Mount. He picks the ball up and takes it to the opposition, he’s player you don’t find very often.
“He’s a special talent and I hope it [playing for England] doesn’t pass him by.
‘But those players, they’re all deserving of their place, Foden certainly, he’s an exceptional player.”
And Sherwood has sent a message for Grealish, to keep working hard and ensure he takes his chance with both hands when it comes.
“Jack, keep your nut down, work hard, and don’t sulk about it, I’m sure he won’t anyway.
“Just get back on the football, which is your best friend and hopefully… look, it might be injures that gives him his opportunity and once you get in there, I’m sure when Gareth sees him in close quarters he realises what a talent this boy is.”
By: Joe Moore
Title: Jack Grealish urged to ‘stick with England’ amid calls to switch back to Republic of Ireland after Aston Villa star’s latest Three Lions snub
Sourced From: talksport.com/football/751038/jack-grealish-england-squad-ireland-sherwood-aston-villa/
Published Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 10:47:11 +0000