It’s official, Jack Grealish is a senior England international.
Jack Grealish made his senior England debut on Tuesday night, when he replaced Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the second half of the Three Lions’ 0-0 stalemate with Denmark.
After much speculation that Grealish could make a shock U-turn on his international allegiance, with calls from former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino for the Aston Villa man to declare for the Boys in Green, Grealish made his first appearance for Gareth Southgate’s side.
And when Grealish joined Declan Rice in England’s midfield on Tuesday night, Brian Kerr couldn’t help but crack a joke on commentary for Virgin Media Sport.
“It’s an Irish double in the midfield now,” Kerr said as Grealish entered the fray.
"It's an Irish double in the midfield now."
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) September 8, 2020
Rice, like Grealish, was eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland but both midfielders ultimately opted to represent the country of their births.
Grealish, who played for Ireland at U17, U18 and U21 levels, recently insisted that he’s always felt English.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve felt like I’m English,” Grealish told Sky Sports of his call-up. “My family are English, it was just my grandparents who are Irish and when I was a young kid I was playing for Ireland because that’s what felt right.
“It felt fun, if anything. But then as I got older, I felt English, I felt like I could get into the England team, and get into the senior team, and now here I am.”
Grealish, 24, played a crucial role in keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League last season and his performances for his club earned him a call-up for England’s pair of Uefa Nations League clashes with Iceland and Denmark.