Jack Grealish joined Manchester City from Aston Villa in a £100 million transfer during the summer and according to some whispers, this big-money move has elevated his position in the England squad as well.
In the Euros, Grealish was mostly used as an impact substitute but he is getting a more important role during the current international break.
The winger was subbed in three times during the Euros for England in the final stage but the manager has rubbished any sort of bias towards him after his move to the Etihad.
“I’m not really sure why that argument would stack up,” the England boss told talkSPORT. “We’ve picked players from Burnley, Brighton, we’ve picked players from clubs others might consider outside the top six.
“We’ve always done that. We played Tyrone Mings in the summer, Ollie Watkins before the summer. In the summer Jack had missed 16 weeks of football or so leading into a few weeks before the tournament.
“We had several players who physically were not at 100 per cent, and we had to manage that group through the tournament.
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“The game the other day, it was against a different opponent and one of the two players who were with us in the summer in attacking positions weren’t with us, so although the bulk of the team was the team from the final, we felt Jack had earned his opportunity.
“He played the first three games of the season for Man City, so physically he was in a better condition, and I think we saw that with the way he pressed the ball, the way he worked without the ball, he was physically in a much better place.
“I’m not here to defend myself, but I can at least give you the rationale for why we picked the team that we did the other day.”
Is Gareth Southgate really favouring Jack Grealish?
Last season, Jack Grealish could play in only 24 Premier League due to various injury setbacks and it took him a long time to regain his peak form.
But, having said that, the limelight is even more on him now that he is playing for Manchester City and if he can succeed under Pep Guardiola he will unquestionably get a lot more preference under the English boss.
At Villa, he was an automatic selection in the starting line up but at City, he will have to fight for his place against players like Sterling and De Bruyne. And if Jack Grealish can come out with flying colours despite such big competition then he’s bound to feature for England heavily in the next few years.