Sunday 23 October 2016

Jack Grealish gets a first England call-up and will travel to France... with the under-21s

Published 12/05/2016 | 15:16

Jack Grealish's last underage international appearance was for the Republic of Ireland
Jack Grealish's last underage international appearance was for the Republic of Ireland

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish will be playing in an international soccer tournament in France this summer after all, but not quite on the grand scale he would have had in mind a year ago.

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Grelish has been handed his first call-up to the England under-21 squad since he defected from the Republic of Ireland international set-up and will travel to France for the Toulon tournament later this month.

England under-21 boss Gareth Southgate has included Grealish in his latest squad despite the 20-year-old enduring a miserable season with relegated Villa, as his star has fallen dramatically since he opted to turn his back on an international career with the Republic of Ireland last September.

Grealish appeared to be a strong contender to force his way into Martin O’Neill’s Euro 2016 squad at the time when he decided he wanted to commit his future to England, yet such has been his decline in recent months that his inclusion in Southgate’s under-21 squad is something of a surprise.

England are due to take on Portugal, Guinea, Paraguay and Japan in the tournament, with Grealish keen to prove his worth once again after starting just nine Premier League games for Villa this season.

However, most soccer fans will not be paying too much attention to Jack's efforts in his junior tournament in France as all eyes will be trained on the big event Grealish opted to walk away from when he decided his Ireland career would be cut short at first base. 

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