Jack Grealish has been one of the only positives for England.
England’s Nations League hopes fell short on Sunday, losing 2-0 to Belgium which officially eliminated them from advancing to the Finals next fall. It was a disappointing performance for Gareth Southgate‘s side, failing to put the ball in the back of the net, despite having several clear-cut opportunities.
Injuries to the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, and Raheem Sterling left Southgate choosing a starting eleven that consisted of several players who usually come on as substitutes. However, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, who was making his competitive debut for the Three Lions, heavily impressed and proved that he’s more than capable of logging meaningful minutes for England in next summer’s European Championships.
It was frankly a night to forget for the English. On the attack, they really lacked that spark. But, Jack Grealish was dangerous every time he had the ball at his feet, running at the Belgian backline with intent. He looked extremely comfortable in his surroundings, considering the high-profile opponent. Even when the Aston Villa star had three red shirts around him, his pace and dribbling abilities allowed Grealish to escape and find open space on numerous occasions.
Just like with Villa, England’s attack was running through the 25-year old. Not Harry Kane. Whether it was a long ball in behind or a short, compact pass in between Belgium players, Jack Grealish was sharp in every single aspect.
His swagger and confidence were on full display, proving that he deserves to be a part of this squad next summer. The youngster also won seven fouls throughout this match, with several being in dangerous areas. His creativity and football IQ in the final third can’t be ignored as he mustered up a number of scoring opportunities for England.
Whatever formation that Southgate wants to play, Grealish can fit in. His versatility to play a number of different positions in the final third or even in the midfield for that matter will certainly open up more opportunities for Grealish on the pitch.
His impressive showing will raise concern though for the likes of Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford. But, you can never have enough attacking talent in a squad, especially ones with tremendous speed. With Grealish proving his worth to the Three Lions, it will only create more competition between players ahead of next summer’s Euros, which is definitely a good thing.
After bagging four goals and tallying six assists in his first seven appearances for Aston Villa, it’s clear that Grealish has carried his fine form right over to international duty, and judging off his performance against Belgium, he’s ready to compete for a spot in England’s starting XI.