Former England captain Paul Ince believes Jack Grealish has what it takes to capture the imagination of England fans once given the chance.
The Aston Villa skipper is currently in the form of his life as speculation grows that he could be on the way out of the club this summer.
Whether he stays or he goes, it is only a matter of time before his form is rewarded with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England national side. Having played all of his international career at underage level for the Republic of Ireland, Grealish caused shockwaves around the country in 2015 when the then 20-year-old opted to declare for England.
“It was not an easy decision as Ireland has a special place with me through my family but I have decided to represent the country of my birth,” Grealish said in a 2015 statement.
Since then, the midfielder has failed to earn a call-up to the England side having spent a season in the Championship following Villa’s relegation in 2016. However, he was pivotal in Villa’s run back to the top flight in 2019 and has carried his form into the current season.
Ince is a big fan of the Villa captain claiming he is more exciting than James Maddison and Mason Mount who both earned call-ups to the national side before him.
“I like Grealish; I really like him. When he kicks a ball, he gets people off their feet. You always think he will do something special,” Ince told Goal.
“I really like him from that point of view.
“Maddison, yes, he is good too. Mason Mount could be exciting. He is getting good game time at Chelsea. If I had to pick one though it would be Grealish because I think he gives you a little bit more. He runs with the ball and travels with the ball.”
The former Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder thinks Grealish can become a “fan hero” in the England jersey and ultimately have an impact on the side similar to that of Paul Gascoigne.
“Grealish is the one who excites me and who I think can be a fan hero. He can be that man. He could be the one. I don’t want to draw parallels with [Paul] Gascoigne but I think the way he plays could have that impact on the imagination. It is something to look forward to. England have a lot of potentially great players. It is a bright three or four years.”