Jack Grealish called up for the Nations League, Rashford and Winks opt out

Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish has been finally called up by Gareth Southgate after initially being omitted from the English squad. The reason for his omission was the fact that Southgate already had players who performed better playing in his preferred position. Questions were raised as two very young teens, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were called up but Grealish was not despite doing so well in a struggling Villa squad.

However, the reason for Grealish's call up is not Greenwood or Foden but the ruling out of Marcus Rashford and Harry Winks from the squad. Grealish represented England in the under-21 level and was also a part of Southgate’s squad in 2016’s Toulon Tournament which they won.

The reason for Rashford pulling out is an ankle injury regarding which the Englishman spoke about on Twitter. He said, “Never want to let this team down but these fixtures just came a little too soon for me. I tried my best but I have to focus on starting the season at my strongest for cub and country. Good luck boys, I’ll be cheering you on from home.”

Winks’ replacement is uncapped Wolves defender Conor Coady and with him, 23-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles was also called.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles Arsenal
Ainsley Maitland-Niles |Credits: Daily Mirror|

Grealish was born and brought up in Birmingham and kicked-off his international career with the Republic of Ireland, representing them at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-21 levels, before making up his mind and confirming his international allegiance to England in 2015.

Grealish was then capped seven times by England at Under-21 level between 2016 and 2017. This opportunity under Southgate is nothing more but the fruit of his efforts with his club, who were almost relegated until the final day of the Premier League season.

Grealish has already shown immense potential and his link-up play is already hailed as one of the best among the English players. It all depends on him to make the most of the chances so that he is never left out again. 

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