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Gareth Southgate: Jack Grealish needs a Premier League football

Aston Villa v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship
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England manager Gareth Southgate says Jack Grealish needs to play in the Premier League before he can be considered for a call up in the senior team.

Jack Grealish is one of the most talented young midfielders in English football.

However, he is playing for Aston Villa in the Championship and he would need some Premier League experience before he gets his first call from the England head coach Gareth Southgate.

The youngster switched allegiances from the Republic of Ireland to England in 2015 and has won seven caps for England U21 team since then.

“Jack worked with us in the U21s briefly,” said Gareth Southgate via Sky Sports.

“Although we can see the quality when the evidence of the opponent is a different level, that’s where it’s hard to directly correlate what that’s going to look like at a level above.

“With Callum [Hudson-Odoi], he’s playing Europa League, he’s playing Premier League – that does make a difference.

“I’m not going to say we won’t pick a player from the Championship because that could happen but it’s far more difficult to assess his level.

“You see certain parts of the game but not others [in the Championship]. Not the physicality at times, nor the tactical discipline. That’s another level in the Premier League – the speed, the pace.

“He’s a player we know all about, he’s a player we track, but that last bit of evidence that could give you the confidence to pick him at the moment we won’t see.

“But as an ex-Villa man, I hope it’s not too long before we do see it.”

Grealish has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer, but Aston Villa rejected Tottenham’s several offers for their most talented player.

He has scored four goals and provided four assists so far in the 2018-19 season for the Villans.