Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish is targeting a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for next year’s European Championships.
Grealish represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level but announced in 2015 that he would represent England’s senior side, should he get the chance.
Is Grealish good enough for England? Five things to know…
- Grealish believes he is up against James Maddison, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and Mason Mount for a place in England’s midfield.
- Mount has created the most Premier League chances of those players this term, with 11.
- But Grealish ranks second with 10, while only he and Maddison have provided an assist this term.
- Grealish has backed himself to make a mark with the Three Lions in the future.
- Southgate recently challenged English midfielders to prove they can nail down a spot in his side.
The 24-year-old played a key role in Villa’s Championship play-off win last season and since returning to the Premier League, has created more chances (10) and completed more dribbles (eight) than any other player at the club.
Despite reaching two consecutive semi-finals, midfield still appears to be the one weakness in Southgate’s side and after speaking to ex-England captain and Villa assistant John Terry, Grealish is sure he has what it takes to make a name for himself with the Three Lions.
“Yeah definitely,” Grealish responded when asked by the Evening Standard if an England call-up was on his mind.
Although he conceded there is a lot of emerging competition for the creative midfield spot, he backed himself, adding: “I think the position I play at the moment, there are so many talented players out there: Madders, Dele [Alli], Mason Mount and [Jesse] Lingard, so many good young English players.
“So there is a lot of competition there but I know I can play. I back myself to get into the England team.
“[I need to] add goals and assists to my game. At the start of the season I know I haven’t been playing to the standard I know I can. I can perform better. From being in the Championship last year, now to being in the Premier League it is going to take a bit of time.
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“I was speaking to John Terry the other day and he said it always took him five or six games to get to the standard he knew he could be at and I think that is the same as me at the moment.
“I know how good I actually am, how good I can be and I want to start adding goals and assists to my game, I am sure I can force my way into the England team.”
Villa face Arsenal, Brighton and Burnley in their next three games and Grealish will use these fixtures as a chance to prove himself before Southgate’s next England squad announcement on October 3.