Given hoping to convince Grealish to stick with Ireland

Given hoping to convince Grealish to stick with Ireland

SHAY Given is hoping to keep Jack Grealish green and has admitted that he is convinced the talented teenager is ready to play senior international football.

The 18-year-old Aston Villa midfielder is currently deciding whether to remain an Ireland player or declare his future with England and has asked for more time to make his decision.

He is currently on duty with Ireland’s Under-21s this week, and 38-year-old club-mate Given is hoping he can be persuaded to continue to continue to wear the green jersey.

Asked if he had tried to talk the promising Birmingham-born youngster into committing himself to the Irish cause, Given said: "Yes, every day!

"He's a big talent. He came on yesterday against Hull and he was fantastic. We all hope he comes and plays for Ireland.

"He is meeting up with the under-21s this week and I think the key is not to put too much pressure on him. Himself and his dad are going to be making that decision, maybe over the next number of months.

"Ideally, we would like him straight away because I feel he is good enough to play straight away, because he is a really talented player. Hopefully we can keep him in the green jersey."

Grealish played the final 15 minutes of Villa's 2-1 victory over Hull, which saw him receive some rough treatment.

Given added: "I think three of them were booked for tackling him. He is very nifty, he is very quick with the ball. He can invite defenders and players on to him, and he is so skilled and he moves the ball so quickly. He's a real talent."

Midfielder David Meyler, one of three Hull players among the senior Republic squad which trained in Malahide on Monday, was impressed by what he saw from Grealish.

He said: "They played very well the first half and we came out and the manager wanted us to get stuck in and get into their faces. Young Jack dwelt on the ball two or three times for long enough for one of our lads to have a swing at him.

"But you know he's another bright talent and he's Irish, and these are the ones we have to watch for the future."

Manager Martin O'Neill certainly is watching, although he is determined not to exert too much pressure ahead of Ireland’s upcoming Euro 2016 campaign.