England up the pressure on Jack Grealish to decide on international future
Sport

England up the pressure on Jack Grealish to decide on international future

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson appears to be losing patience with Jack Grealish as he continues to mull over his international future.

The 19-year-old is eligible to play for both England and Ireland, and has represented the latter at youth level, although he was born and raised in England.

However, he qualifies for Ireland through his Irish grandparents and has always been proud of his roots having played GAA for John Mitchels of Warwickshire between the ages of 10 and 14.

Both Hodgson and Ireland boss Martin O’Neill want the Aston Villa midfielder to commit to their respective nations, but the former — who has quality midfielders in abundance — has now upped the pressure on the teenager to make what will be one of the biggest decisions of his career.

“I’m not 100 per cent certain of what he is waiting for," stressed Hodgson. "As far as I am concerned, I would like him to come out and say: ‘I’ve thought about it, I’ve got the two possibilities and I’m opting for England’ and then of course he will be available for selection.

Advertisement

"We’ve spoken to him and what we’ve said, quite simply, is that we think he is a very talented footballer. We think he could have a very good international career and we would be more than happy if he chose that career to be England.

“But he has been injured, to be fair, so he wouldn’t have been selectable for any team — England, Ireland, at whatever level — during these September fixtures. Now, maybe, before the October fixtures he might make that decision.

"He’s 19 years of age. It would be nice if he says yes and then he would have a year to see if he could knock one or two of these players off their perch.”

Grealish has represented Ireland at Under 17, Under 18 and Under 21 level.