Jack Grealish: Paul Gascoigne comparisons delight Villa midfielder

Jack Grealish: Paul Gascoigne comparisons delight Villa midfielder
Jack Grealish
Grealish in action against Wales at Wembley

England midfielder Jack Grealish says he is delighted to be compared to Three Lions favourite Paul Gascoigne.

Aston Villa’s Grealish was man of the match on his first international start on Thursday against Wales.

The 25-year-old’s bursts from midfield have seen pundits such as Steve McLarenexternal-link and Martin Keownexternal-link compare him to Gazza, who won 57 England caps and shone at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96.

“I don’t really see myself as him but I’d love to be like him, the way that he played football,” Grealish said.

“I would love to get compared to Gazza. I think he is an absolute icon. Him, along with Wayne Rooney, was probably one of the greatest England players over the last 30 years.

“There have been a load but if they were the top two, Gazza would be my first.”

  • Gazza’s iconic moments – as ranked by BBC Sport readers

Grealish says Gazza played the game with “such joy”, something he would like to replicate.

“One of the biggest compliments for people to say to you is that you make them happy watching football,” said the Villa captain.

Grealish, who made his debut for boyhood club Villa in 2012, is enjoying an outstanding spell of form, but his rise to the national team has not been straightforward.

He was sent home from an England boys camp after collapsing and then went on to play for the Republic of Ireland at youth level.

“I played for them because of how much I enjoyed it, but as I got older I realised I am English, my family is English and in the future that’s what I want to do,” he said.

Grealish will now hope he has done enough to earn a starting spot in Gareth Southgate’s England side when they face world number one side Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday (kick-off 17:00 BST) before hosting Denmark on Wednesday (19:45).

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - Blue

  • Body Image: Exploring how it defines the way we feel
  • Black History Month: What We’re Not Taught In Schools

Footer - Blue

XL subscribe to our newsletter banner

Get the latest news and advice on COVID-19, direct from the experts in your inbox. Join hundreds of thousands who trust experts by subscribing to our newsletter.

Send your news and stories to us news@climaxradio.co.uk or newstories@climaxnewsroom.com and WhatsApp: +447747873668.

Before you go...

Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.