England waiting on Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish to choose international allegiance
Jack Grealish burst onto the scene in the Premier League last season, becoming a regular in Aston Villa’s midfield under Tim Sherwood and drawing great praise for his performances.
At 19-years-old he has been tabbed as a future star, and England manager Roy Hodgson would like to call him up to the national team.
The only problem is, Grealish is yet to pledge his allegiance to England.
Despite being born in England, Grealish is also eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland through his grandparents. He has chosen to represent Ireland internationally throughout his youth career, but has yet to make a decision on which country he will play for moving forward.
After England secured qualification for EURO 2016 yesterday, Hodgson said he would like Grealish to announce his decision, so he could have the option to bring him into the side.
We’ve spoken to him and what we’ve said, quite simply, is that we think he is a very talented footballer. We think he could have a very good international career and we would be more than happy if he chose that career to be England.
As far as I am concerned, I would like him to come out and say: ‘I’ve thought about it, I’ve got the two possibilities and I’m opting for England’ and then of course he will be available for selection.
Did I expect it [his decision] earlier? I don’t know. It would be nice if he says yes and then he would have a year to see if he could knock one or two of these players off their perch. That would be pleasant but there is no time limit.
Grealish turned down a first-team call-up from Ireland manager Martin O’Neill in May, leading people to believe he was leaning towards England. However, no announcement has been made as both nations anxiously wait for his decision.