The England squad always divides opinion among fans online. You get the players you expect to make it, first names on the team sheet. Then there are selections which are perhaps more debatable, but still acceptable. However, one or two players who look like shoe-ins for the team, yet somehow miss out for players that you really scratch your head about. Jack Grealish is definitely someone who will feel like he’s been overlooked.
The Aston Villa youth product has been on form this season in the Premier League. Despite making a fair few appearances between 2014 and 2016, he struggled to impress in the top flight. To be fair to him, he was in an awful relegation side. But now, after being instrumental in Villa’s promotion last season, he’s returned and looks brilliant. So much so, Three Lions fans expected him to earn his first England cap with the latest squad.
Grealish just missed out. Gareth Southgate himself said he was “very close” to making the squad. So, we’ll explain why the midfielder deserves a place:
Jack Grealish – Style of Play
The 5ft 9 Birmingham lad is able to play as an attacking midfielder or a winger. More so the former. His natural dribbling ability coupled with his low centre of gravity means he just dances past defenders. 1.9 dribbles per game this season indicate this. But a ridiculous 4.1 times fouled per game just shows how he weaves through the gaps and forces the opposition to bring him down. Drawing fouls is such an underrated part of his game.
Alongside his ball control and the talent, Grealish is producing end product. The final hurdle that he struggled with during his first spell in the top flight. You don’t even have to go into the specifics to see the 24 year old is performing well:
Jack Grealish 2019/20 stats (PERIOD):
A goal contribution every 2 games is quite impressive. Callum Hudson-Odoi got the nod ahead of Grealish. Though he has performed well when he’s played, the former Notts County loanee has had more minutes and perhaps deserves the call up more.
Going into the specifics, the former Republic of Ireland U21 is incredibly industrious. 2.5 key passes and 1.8 shots per game are what you expect from a exciting attacking midfielder. But his defensive contributions deserve more credit. 1.4 tackles per game, despite the responsibility he has to be the creative spark of this Villa side, is a testament to how valuable of a player he is. That determination and willingness to track back as well as do the dirty work, it’s a manager’s dream. No doubt, Grealish is a hard worker. Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com
On the plane?
He’s not the finished article, but Jack Grealish is starting to show the potential and output we’ve expecting him to. A strong second half to the season and he’ll be on the plane to Euro 2020.
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