Sunday 4 December 2016

Shay Given: Jack Grealish is confused over his international future – he could be a future England regular

Published 20/04/2015 | 21:45

Aston Villa's midfielder Jack Grealish celebrates Villa's second goal during the FA Cup semi-final between Aston Villa and Liverpool.
Aston Villa's midfielder Jack Grealish celebrates Villa's second goal during the FA Cup semi-final between Aston Villa and Liverpool.

Shay Given says he hopes Aston Villa team-mate Jack Grealish declares for Ireland but admits the teenager has a huge decision to make with regards to his international future.

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Yesterday the 19 year-old was instrumental for the 84 minutes he was on the pitch during the FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool and attention has turned to his international allegiance following the virtuoso performance at Wembley.

Having featured for Ireland at underage level, the English FA are expected to step-up their pursuit of the play-maker and Given told Newstalk's Off The Ball that Grealish will have to consider his future carefully.

"The English FA will be thinking, 'We need to get this guy', so it's going to be a difficult decision," he said.

"He loved playing with Ireland, and coming across, but he is now at a crossroads. He does a have a strong connection with Ireland, of course he was born in England, so it's a tricky one.

"He's probably just a little bit confused. He's a very young man, it's such a big decision. He has his career and life ahead of him.

"Hopefully he does come and play for us."

Given believes that the prodigious talent simply hasn't made his mind up as he decides between the two countries.

"I think deep down he really doesn't know himself. He's in our squad now, but maybe not the English squad. Maybe in a couple of years he could be a regular in the England squad, you just don't know.

The former Newcastle United and Manchester City shot-stopper also revealed that Grealish has been toying with senior players in training all season.

"He has started the last three games for us and is a real talent."

"We see it every day in training, some of the stuff he does in training is fantastic, he's untouchable at times.

"Some of the players revert to whacking him down because they can't keep up with him as he glides past. The ball seems to be stuck to his foot."

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