Sunday 17 December 2017

'Jack can play for England'

ASTON Villa boss Tim Sherwood has entered the debate on Jack Grealish's international future after he claimed that he could see the Ireland U21 cap going on to play for England.

Grealish, capped at youth and U21 levels by Ireland, has put his international career on hold for the last year as he weighs up interest from the England camp but new Villa boss Sherwood says that the youngster is good enough to play for England's senior side - if he progresses at club level.

Martin O'Neill and U21 boss Noel King have both held meetings with Grealish and his father, who also acts as the plauyer's adviser, in a bid to convince him to stick with the Irteland set-up.

But England U21 coach Gareth Southgate has also publicly expressed his interest in landing the Villa lad.

Former Villa assistant boss Roy Keane and current team-mate Shay Given had also spoken to Grealish about his international future but the latest contribution from Sherwood will cause some concern in FAI circles.

"I think he might play for England but he's got to play for Villa first," said Sherwood, who used Grealish for the first time in the midweek win over West Brom, Grealish now in line for a start in tomorrow's FA Cup meeting with the Baggies.

"I thought he did well when he came off the bench on Tuesday," said Sherwood after his 30-minute outing.

"He comes on with no fear and just wants to play.

"We know he has ability - he just needs to start affecting the football match."

Grealish will face another decision next week. While he is unlikely, on current form, to earn a place in the Ireland senior squad for the clash with Poland, he is eligible for the Irish U21 squad for their Euro qualifier against Andorra.

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