England manager Gareth Southgate’s treatment of Jack Grealish has attracted criticism from the former Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor.
The former Villa star claims that the England manager surely has an issue with Jack Grealish and only that can explain his omission from the recent games against Belgium and Denmark.
Initially Southgate left out the Aston Villa midfielder for the games during this international break but he had to bring in the 25 year old to cope with the injury crisis.
Jack Grealish made his first full debut against Wales earlier this month and he was outstanding for the Three Lions. Grealish ended up winning the man of the match award in the game as well.
However the Aston Villa midfielder was once again left out against Belgium and Denmark.
It is quite baffling how the England manager has been ignoring the Aston Villa star’s recent performances.
Grealish deserves to start for England on merit and if Southgate persists with his decision to keep Grealish on the fringes of the first team, it would only end up weakening the England squad.
Agbonlahor said (via Goal): “Forget about the 10 men, I think even if England had 11 men on the field it still wasn’t the right side to be playing.
“You hear everybody on social media, every pundit is calling for a certain player that we all know – which is Jack Grealish.
“He should be starting in this England team because even before the red card, England are missing that player who can take the ball up the field, move defenders and make space for the other attacking players.”
Agbonlahor added: “I feel like he should have started the game. Even when you go down to 10 men, you need someone in that team who can take the ball up the field, who is fresh and it was the perfect scenario to bring Jack on.
“I don’t understand the players that he brought on before Jack. I feel like is there a deeper issue there that we don’t know about?
“Gareth Southgate has to come out and explain because I feel like everyone was in shock. The game against Belgium, you understand that you want to be a bit more cautious if you’re playing two sitters.
“To be playing two holding midfielders, no disrespect to Denmark, with the quality that England have got, we should be playing our attacking players and beating Denmark by three goals.
“You have got the likes of [Jadon] Sancho on the bench, the likes of Grealish on the bench, I don’t understand it and there must be a deeper issue there with Southgate and Grealish. Whenever reporters ask him the question he seems to bring up someone else’s name, which is quite shocking to me.
“It was a not a game where you needed Declan Rice and [Kalvin] Phillips in the team. I would have had Phillips playing as a sitter and [Mason] Mount and Grealish in front as two No.8s with a more attacking feel to the team.
“If you’re not going to play attacking players against a team like Denmark, when are you going to play attacking football?”.
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