Stage set for Grealish to shine as Villa talisman must be given key England role

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish will be hoping to make a big impression at Euro 2020 this summer, and England boss Gareth Southgate must hand him a pivotal role.

As the incessant, tedious transfer gossip continues to roll in regarding the 25-year-old’s club future, his priority for the next few weeks is playing his part in helping England achieve European Championship glory.

READ MORE: Buendia discusses Aston Villa move, reveals what convinced him to join

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After a string of impressive, Man of the Match-earning performances in the build-up to the tournament, there still seems to be a bizarre question mark hanging over the playmaker in terms of whether or not he should start.

Given what he’s shown Southgate since returning from injury coupled with the unique skill-set he brings to the table which should see him flourish on the international stage, it’s questionable as to why it’s even still a conversation as whether or not Grealish should be in the starting XI for the Three Lions.

It’s hoped that Southgate doesn’t ‘play it safe’ by sticking with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford despite their less than impressive form of late, but in his defence it is a difficult decision given the attacking quality at his disposal this summer.

Nevertheless, the stage is well and truly set for Grealish to take this tournament by storm. He’s been lavished with praise from all quarters in recent days in particular. From being compared to Francesco Totti by an Italian reporter on media day to Jose Mourinho revealing that the Villa captain reminds him of Figo.

That just goes to show the level of esteem and respect he’s held with abroad, it’s just hoped that the England boss shares those views and gives him the platform to go out and put on a show in an England shirt in the coming weeks.

Villa fans will perhaps be slightly concerned about the repercussions of a strong tournament showing in terms of the interest it will attract and the likely outcome of transfer speculation intensifying off the back of it.

That said, it’s arguably fair to say that we all desperately want to see him do well this summer, before returning to lead our charge next season and beyond as he’ll have a new teammate to link up with in the final third after Emiliano Buendia’s move to Villa was confirmed this week.

Such is Grealish’s tunnel vision right now he hasn’t yet commented on the news of our latest recruit, but he’ll no doubt be relishing the chance to link up with him and Ollie Watkins next season. For now though, there’s business to take care of for England, just as long as Southgate gives him the opportunity to lead the way.