Jack Grealish needs to be a part of England's starting XI
Even if England has performed well, there is still fair criticism for what’s going on with Jack Grealish and his sporadic appearances in Gareth Southgate’s European Championships squad. Grealish has proven he deserves to be a part of the starting XI over other left-wingers.
In this event, both Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling starred for the team. Sterling has started in the left-wing but his place in the system hardly matters because he usually cuts into the centre. This means he can play on the right-wing without any issues and he will still link up with Kane and the others.
Grealish will bring an entirely different dimension to the England squad if he plays with Sterling and Kane. The Aston Villa captain knows how to work his way into the final third to either create a goal-scoring chance or even attack the box where he can be fouled to force a penalty kick.
Grealish’s rocky relationship with Southgate
England has so many options on the left-wing. They have Sterling and Marcus Rashford as the pure wingers but they also have stars like Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka who can also play the role. However, Grealish is the best offensive star out of the bunch and he can amplify Sterling’s play on the other side of the Villa star is on the left-wing.
In various reports, it was mentioned that Southgate does like Grealish’s skills with the ball and as an off-ball threat but he does not trust him enough to warrant playing him in the starting XI. Many people have speculated Southgate plays his favourites which is evident with his love for both Kane and Sterling when sometimes, there are other options for their roles.
Grealish himself just wants to play which is why he’s content with staying on the bench. He would still take a spot in the starting XI when called upon but that is unlikely given Southgate is not the biggest fan of the Villa star. Grealish said he’s desperate to be involved and show people what he got.
Is Grealish the key to a title victory?
The European Championships is nearly over with only four teams left. England is favoured to make the final since they have to face Denmark in the semis and the winner between Italy or Spain in the final. It will be hard to win the title but it’s still possible since their stars will have the chance to shine on offence.
Southgate will have to think about what his lineups will look like in the final two matches he will coach in this event. They have done well with their defence which will surely stay the same but the forward line will be tricky. Kane and Sterling will surely be in the first XI but it will be a conversation between Grealish, Foden, Saka and Jadon Sancho regarding the starting spot.
Southgate has juggled between all four players and it looks like it might be Sancho since he was the starter during the 4-0 win over Ukraine. It will be hard to pin down the coach’s squad but if he picks Jack, it will give them the biggest chance of winning the event because he’s such a great player who can turn the Three Lions’ fortunes around.
Grealish will most likely get that opportunity sooner rather than later even if it’s at the club level and not for the England national team.
Words: Cholo Martin