Grealish Receives First England Call-up to Replace Rashford
Aston Villa midfielder, Jack Grealish has been called up to the England senior squad for the first time to replace Marcus Rashford who withdrew because of injury.
Initially, Grealish was left out of the England senior squad last week. Asked why he had omitted the midfielder from his original squad, Southgate admitted, “the Villa captain was competing for a place with the forwards’ Greenwood, Sancho, Sterling, and Rashford in the 4-3-3 system he favors”.
“I know at times Villa plays Jack as a midfield player. That’s not where I see him in the way that we play. So, with us, he would be a wide player or a No 10 and I think we’ve got players at the moment that deserve to be in just ahead of him”.
Consequently, Grealish might be grateful to have space in the England squad but not grateful for his countryman’s injury. All in all, he will feature in the squad for the first time after Marcus Rashford who was in the squad withdrew as a result of an injury. Rashford’s withdrawal gave chance to the Aston Villa captain to join the rest of Gareth Southgate’s players as England prepares to face Iceland and Denmark in the Nations League.
Rashford tweeted, “Gutted. Never want to let this team down. But these fixtures just came a little too soon for me. I tried my best but I have to focus on starting the season at my strongest for club and country. Good luck boys. I’ll be cheering you on from home”.
Grealish has played for England’s Under-21 side and in 2016 was a member of Southgate’s Toulon Tournament-winning squad. The 24-year-old had previously represented the Republic of Ireland, who he is eligible to play for through his grandparents at every level up to under-21s. This is before announcing in 2015 he had opted to commit his international future to England.