Ian Wright has claimed he didn’t “go over the top” with his effusive praise of Jack Grealish, after yet another impressive showing for the England star.
The Aston Villa skipper was finally given his first competitive start during Sunday’s clash with Belgium. Where despite defeat in Leuven, the Aston Villa skipper earned plaudits aplenty for his performance.
Grealish followed that up with another man-of-the-match display in the thumping win over Iceland on Wednesday.
Many have now suggested that the 25-year-old is a player that Gareth Southgate must start for England, as he prepares his squad for next summer’s European Championship.
However, Grealish is yet to open his account for the national side, leading some to claim that people are going too far with their backing.
But Wright has doubled down on his verdict, suggesting he brings something that England are going to need in a major tournament.
“I’ve been beating the drum for him to be in the side,” he said on his new podcast Wrighty’s House.
“Since he’s come on the scene, the way his game’s progressed and what he’s done now and me calling for him to be in that squad because he’s the player we’ve needed and the stick I was getting…I was reading some nasty stuff from stuff people in respects of, ‘We lost the game, why’s everybody going on about it?’.
“What Jack Grealish showed in that game against Belgium – which is a team that’ll probably be challenging – was that is the player that we are going to need.
“Nobody is saying ‘build the team around him’. Yes, you can funnel the ball to them but you’re not building everything around them.
“Because even Diego Maradona in ’86, the team wasn’t built around him.
Should Gareth Southgate build the England XI around Jack Grealish? Have your say below
Wright added: “He had unbelievable players. Even with that team, they had brilliant players around him. Maradona was the icing on the cake.
“All we need for Jack is to just pop up in those areas and just keep things moving.
“He’s someone that progresses the ball wherever he ends up on the pitch.
“What really annoys me is people saying, ‘Oh, you’re going way over the top!’. I’m not going over the top. When you watched us against Croatia, with nobody to bring us the chaos… Grealish brings chaos.”
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