Cesc Fabregas, Gary Lineker, Ashley Cole and more heap praise on Jack Grealish as Aston Villa captain stars for England against Belgium
Jack Grealish will undoubtedly be feeling bittersweet about his first competitive start for England after the Three Lions slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Belgium.
The Aston Villa captain proved to the last remaining few who doubted his international credentials with a superb performance against the No.1 ranked side in the world.
Unfortunately, it proved to be in vain as England saw their Nations League hopes extinguished in Leuven.
The penultimate match of a challenging year was always going to provide the Three Lions’ toughest test – and acted as a reminder of the work required before the rearranged European Championship.
Southgate’s absentee-hit side could not find a way past another of the favourites for next summer’s tournament, with Youri Tielemans’ deflected strike and a fine Dries Mertens free-kick securing the win for Roberto Martinez’s men.
However, Gareth Southgate will have been buoyed by Grealish’s performance as the Aston Villa captain brought all the quality he has shown in the Premier League to the international stage.
Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas was effusive in his praise for the 25-year-old, gushing praise on Twitter.
He wrote: “Great personality Jack Grealish.”
Former England strikers Gary Lineker and Darren Bent, also heaped praise on the midfielder, taking the opportunity to credit the star man.
Lineker wrote: “Love watching Jack Grealish, such a delightful midfielder.”
JACK GREALISH STATS VS BELGIUM
The Aston Villa captain showed he deserves to be an England regular
- 89% pass success
- 76 touches
- 51 accurate passes
- 12 duels won
- 4 dribbles completed
- 3 shots
- 2 chances created
- 2 accurate long balls
- 2 key passes
- 1 aerial won
- 1 recovery
- Most fouled player on the pitch
Bent also commented: “What a performance from Jack Grealish, think you need to add his name alongside Kane and Sterling as a must start going forward.”
Speaking on punditry duty for Sky Sports, Ashley Cole was asked if there was any reason for England to be positive after Sunday night’s defeat.
Cole simply replied: “Yeah, Jack Grealish!”