You’re okay, Jack! Grealish is lining up for a key role in Gareth Southgate’s England team for euros after impressing Three Lions boss at the audition in November
- Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is lining up for a key role in this summer’s Euro
- There are concerns among the public that he would miss the squad
- However, Gareth Southgate was impressed with Grealish last November
- The Villa star shone in three games against Belgium, Ireland and Iceland
Jack Grealish is being drafted by Gareth Southgate for a key role at the European Championship, despite public concerns that the Aston Villa player could miss the squad.
Last November’s internationals are believed to have been Grealish’s main audition as he started and thrived in all three games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland.
The fact that he started from home against Belgium, the most difficult test England has had this season, is considered significant as it shows that Southgate will trust him to start matches against the highest opposition.
Jack Grealish is ready to play a key role in Southgate’s England squad for the European Championship this summer
There were concerns that the Aston Villa star would be left out of the 23-man roster
Since then, he’s gotten even better form at Villa and although he missed this squad due to a shin injury, there is no danger that Grealish will miss out on the final 23 for the European Championship, assuming he is fit. Grealish is expected to start against Fulham today.
Clearly, most of Southgate’s talks with players last week were more about managing expectations and telling them what would need to be done to make the squad. That’s partly because Grealish is out of the last squad when fit and so some selected for last week’s games will miss.
Grealish has become a celebrity among supporters, fearing he might become another Matt Le Tissier figure, an extraordinarily talented player, but one who didn’t fit the English system and who only won eight caps.
But that seems unlikely under Southgate. Playing at the European Championship will justify the Aston Villa captain, 25, who was a teenage wonder for the Republic of Ireland under 21, but turned down a senior call from them in 2015 to be available for England.
However, the English boss was impressed by Grealish’s Three Lions audition in November
That seemed to have been a misjudgment as he initially fell short of early expectations, but he was eventually rewarded with an England debut five years later and now appears to be a key part of Southgate’s roster.
Whether he will be part of the starting XI has yet to be determined. Southgate appears to want to play him in the offensive left-wing role he plays for his club, rather than as a midfielder. As such, he would be in competition with Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford to start for England.
UEFA’s preparations for Euro 2020 are likely to be delayed again this week, when venues have to confirm whether they can host matches with an audience.
Increasing positive tests in Europe – Italy has entered a three-day Easter lock – means UEFA will sweat in venues that may not be able to give guarantees.
But UEFA’s medical advisor is confident the tournament will have fans across the continent this summer, with the UK government hoping Wembley can be almost a packed house for the semifinals and final, with nearly all the restrictions set in England. will be lifted. from June 21.
Southgate will likely want to play Grealish on the left, and it is not known if he will start
The 12 venues have until Wednesday to confirm if they are still part of the tournament and can guarantee 25 percent capacity for games. Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and Saint Petersburg are all hosts.
With positive tests increasing significantly in Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary and Romania, it is difficult to see how venues in those countries can now commit to hosting matches with fans in June. Still, Hungary plans to open up its country and the Netherlands played their World Cup qualifier against Latvia in front of 5,000 fans as a Covid test event.
Munich seems most vulnerable given its cautious approach to health officials.