UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers: 3 reasons why Jack Grealish deserves an England call-up
The final international break of 2019 is almost upon us, and with that in mind, England boss Gareth Southgate will name his latest squad this Thursday for the Three Lions’ upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo and Montenegro.
Numerous players will be hoping to make it into Southgate’s squad, but one newcomer who definitely deserves a look-in this time is Aston Villa’s captain and playmaker Jack Grealish. The 24-year old was first linked with an England call-up back in 2015 when he broke into Villa’s first team, but after the club’s relegation, Grealish has had to work back into contention the hard way, through three seasons in the EFL Championship.
Now back in the Premier League, Grealish has made an impressive start to the 2019/20 season, and after much discussion about his England future, surely now is the time for him to be called up into Southgate’s senior squad.
Here are 3 reasons why Jack Grealish deserves an England call-up.
#1 He offers something different in a problem position for England
England have had a relatively successful 2019; while they failed in their quest to become the inaugural UEFA Nations League champions in the summer, they have won five of their six UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, and are now on the cusp of qualifying for next summer’s tournament. But Gareth Southgate’s side aren’t the finished article yet, and one area that tends to be identified for improvement is in midfield.
The Three Lions have scored plenty of goals recently – 26 in their six qualifiers thus far – but creativity in midfield remains somewhat of a problem, and the majority of their goals have come from quick breaks using wide forwards such as Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho. In the creative midfield spot, Ross Barkley has impressed at times but remains inconsistent, while youngster Mason Mount struggled to make an impact in the 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic.
It’s this problem spot that Grealish could fill. Despite only just returning to Premier League action, the Villa man has been extremely impressive thus far in 2019/20, and his statistics tell their own story. In 10 games, the 24-year old has scored 2 goals, made 3 assists and created 24 chances in open play – more than any other Premier League player outside of Kevin de Bruyne.
He’s capable of dribbling with the ball like few other English players; Grealish has averaged 1.9 successful dribbles per game thus far, superior to both Barkley and Mount (both 1.3), and he has also completed more key passes (25) than either Chelsea player, too.
Add in the fact that he has only averaged 1 unsuccessful touch per game and is rarely dispossessed, and it’s easy to argue that he’d be the best option for Southgate when it comes to England’s creative hub.