For so long, Jack Grealish has been mentioned in certain circles in regards to a call-up to the England squad. Now it would be a farce if he wasn’t.
Words: Matt Blogg | @Blogg_Matt
Jack Grealish tore the Sky Bet Championship to shreds upon his return from injury at the back end of last season, but was denied a call up to the England squad due to competitors for his position being Premier League players. Now the 24-year-old is proving his worth in the Premier League too, his maiden England call-up is becoming inevitable. He was knocking at the door of the National Team, and now the door is swinging from it’s hinges.
As of right now, Grealish is statistically the second most in-form player in Europe’s top five leagues, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo. Without the playmaker, Aston Villa would be much worse off, but that is common knowledge.
However, it’s not going to be long until people are saying the same in regards to the National Team. Grealish is one of the most unique players in the country, with no other player possessing the same skill set.
The way he carries the ball, committing players and creating space, and spraying passes needs to be seen on the international stage. Having unknowingly put in a Man of the Match performance in front of Gareth Southgate at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, the Aston Villa captain looks a shoo-in for a call-up – and once he is in, it will take a hell of a lot to get him out.
He has been in the conversation for a while now, but since his comeback performance at home to Derby in March the Aston Villa skipper has been in sensational form, and it is now getting to the point that Southgate can no longer delay his inclusion.
Jack Grealish is currently the most fouled player amongst Europe’s top five leagues this season, being stopped 37 times. That’s not because he ‘dives’, the false statement that opposition fans seem to turn to. He is fouled so often because of the way that he carries the ball; the way that he tempts defenders into challenges. His ball carrying technique is one that sees the ball sticking close to his body, meaning if an opposition player wants to take it from him they are going to have to go through him. His quickness of mind and feet nip the ball away at the point of the defender’s commitment, drawing a foul.
All the times that England are frustrated by ‘lesser’ teams sitting back will be made easier in the future, simply through the inclusion of Jack Grealish. It is so bizarre to think that some opposition fans just can’t see his talent.
He is one-of-a-kind, talismanic, and irreplaceable. He has earned his shot and is finally within touching distance of it.
Jack also boasts the second highest number of progressive runs in Europe’s top five leagues, with 42 – this statistic coming as little surprise considering how he drives Aston Villa forward at every opportunity. Jamie Redknapp said earlier in the week that the midfielder “takes risks“, that he is not a safe, sideways passing midfielder.
Grealish is the kind of midfielder that fans want in their team, and the fact that he ranks 9th in Europe’s major leagues for deep completions (passes within 20 yards of the opposition goal, ahead of the likes of Son Heung-Min and Sadio Mané tells you all that you need to know.
The boyhood Aston Villa fan has proven himself in the Sky Bet Championship, dragging his club to promotion within that crazy ten game winning run, and is now finding his feet in the Premier League – a terrifying thought for opposition teams. Goals in back-to-back league games, three assists and a number of goal contributions in the Carabao Cup alongside this, Grealish is showing other English midfielders how it’s done.
We’ve seen the country take to Tyrone Mings following his international debut, and now it’s Jack’s turn.
Once England go Jack, they will never go back.