Paul McGrath says that Jack Grealish could have been “the top player for Ireland” had he stuck with the Boys in Green and believes that the Aston Villa midfielder’s chances with England will be limited.
Speaking to the Official Site to give his thoughts, Sherwood’s main focus was on at least it’s out of the way now and the media hype and faux indignation from folks can stop, and Jack can just focus himself on what’s important – performing for us and now seeing if those performances warrant the worldwide call.
“He would have got more regular worldwide football with Ireland and it would have been great if he had picked us”.
“Aston Villa haven’t been winning games but he’s been playing really well and has shown that he has great ability”.
“He has loads of potential – and that’s what it is at the moment”, he added.
The 20-year-old Aston Villa winger was born in Solihull but has represented the Republic of Ireland at every age since Under-17 level, barring the senior side. He’s got a long way to go.
Hodgson is set to name his squad for England’s concluding Group E matches on Thursday, although Omnisport understands that Grealish will not feature due to the period of time required to process his global clearance. Consistency is everything in this game’.
England have already secured qualification for Euro 2016 and November’s friendlies against Spain and France will provide the next opportunity for Grealish to make his full global bow.
Another former Ireland worldwide, Eamon Dunphy, was critical of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane for how they handled the saga, but McGrath stressed that ultimately the decision lies with the player.
“England could play him in a couple of games and then he finds that he’s shut out a little bit”.
“I don’t think they could have done any more”, said McGrath.
“Deep down he probably does feel he’s more English”.
However, Hodgson did not pick him to play against the Republic in June, with the England boss saying “it would have been inflammatory at the last minute if he chose us and played”.