Wednesday 17 January 2018

Jack Grealish won't make England debut next month due to FIFA clearance delay

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish
Aston Villa's Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish will have to wait at least a month for his England debut despite pledging his allegiance to the country of his birth.

After months of speculation, Grealish committed his international career to England on Monday.

Despite being born in Solihull, Grealish opted to play for the Republic of Ireland at youth level. He was eligible to play for the Republic through his grandparents.

But the 20-year-old then switched his allegiance back to England after manager Roy Hodgson made it clear he was interested in calling the player up for the senior side earlier this year.

Grealish will not be selected for England's upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania next month, however.

It is understood that the Football Association expects Grealish's international clearance will not be granted for four to six weeks.

That means he will not be included in the squad for the next two qualifiers - which is named on Thursday - but could feature in the friendlies against Spain and France in November.

Despite declaring his allegiance to England, Grealish is not guaranteed a senior call-up.

The midfielder will have to play well to earn the right to feature in the November friendlies.

Explaining his decision on Monday, Grealish said: "It was not an easy decision to make as Ireland has a special place to me through my family. "However, I have decided to represent the country of my birth."

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