Saturday 16 December 2017

Grealish Snr denies son has opted to play for England

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood thinks Jack Grealish is a rare talent
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood thinks Jack Grealish is a rare talent

John Fallon

JACK GREALISH has not chosen to declare for England, according to his father.

Kevin Grealish last night refuted reports that his son, who turned 20 yesterday, has settled on his international dilemma by snubbing Ireland for England.

The Aston Villa star had vowed to bring clarity on his international future by deciding between offers made in recent months from both countries, but reports that a decision has already been made were described yesterday as "premature."

"There is nothing in that report whatsoever," insisted Grealish Snr last night. "No decision has been made by Jack yet. He hasn't even played much football this season because of injuries."

Martin O'Neill would like to have Grealish at this disposal for next month's crucial Euro qualifiers against Germany and Poland, yet Roy Hodgson is equally keen on enlisting the playmaker.

With England already guaranteed a place in next year's showpiece in France, Hodgson could throw Grealish into one or both of the dead-rubbers against Estonia and Lithuania.

He has also spoken about affording the youngster a platform to make his case over the next eight months for inclusion in the squad for the tournament.

Meanwhile, it's understood the FAI are on the brink of acquiring the services of highly-rated Arsenal teen Danny Crowley.

The 18-year-old is currently impressing on loan at League One outfit Barnsley and faces a similar predicament to his former Villa colleague Grealish insofar as he qualifies for both England and Ireland and is wanted by each.

The midfielder, who Arsenal paid Villa €1m for two years ago, has represented England at U-19 level but is believed to be close to switching to Ireland for their U-21 European Championship qualification campaign.

Irish Independent

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