Roy Keane backed Jack Grealish to ‘go on to great things’, while Ashley Cole believes he can ‘disturb’ England trio Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling to become a regular starter for Gareth Southgate.
Grealish put in another impressive display in England’s 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland, providing an assist for Jadon Sancho, who joined Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Harry Maguire among the goalscorers.
The Aston Villa playmaker pulled the strings and he impressed Manchester United legend Keane.
‘It was a comfortable night for him,’ Keane told ITV. ‘I think I could have played tonight.
‘Look Jack, we’re always questioning about his end product – that has improved obviously over the last few months – but a cushy night for him tonight.
‘It’s his second start, this guy is going on to great things no doubt in my mind.’
Asked if Grealish could ‘disturb’ the likes of Rashford, Kane and Sterling, Cole replied: ‘I think he does.
‘I think on the form he’s showing this season, he’s shown tremendous ability.
‘Dean Smith added some quality players to that team where last season, he was dropping back into areas where they didn’t need him.
‘They need him in attacking areas where he can show his ability, get on the ball and take players on. If he can keep up the form he’s shown this season in last couple of weeks then for sure he be pushing for a place here.’
Grealish was happy with his performance, although admitted he was disappointed not to get on the scoresheet.
‘It was good to get my second start,’ said Grealish. ‘I thought we controlled the game well and obviously it is nice to get the win.
‘It is what I have been trying to do this season, trying to score more. I got the assist for Jadon and I am happy with that. I could have scored and assisted a couple more but hopefully I will save those ones.
‘Training with these guys day in day out for two weeks it steps up everything about your game, it has done for me. I have been trying to take as much as I can off them and hopefully it can help me.
‘I want to play as much as possible – all I’ve got to do is try to impress the manager as much as I can. Since I have been here he has been brilliant with me, talking to me and telling me what he wants me to do.’
Southgate was satisfied with the Aston Villa star’s performance.
‘The two players in those roles, Jadon Sancho and Jack, they have the freedom to go either side of the pitch and create overloads I thought they both did that very well,’ said the England manager.
Asked if Grealish can play in the same team as Mason Mount, he added: ‘Of course. There are a lot of other players in the squad as well. We have a lot of competition for places.
‘You saw them in two different roles today, they can both play a lot of different roles. [Harry] Winks did well and [Bukayo] Saka looked a lot more confident than he did in his last game.’
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