Former Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood says England have ‘missed the boat’ with Jack Grealish, who he says reminds him of Paul Gascoigne and should be a starter for the Three Lions.
Gareth Southgate was criticised in some quarters for sticking with his ‘favourites’ when he named his latest squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Monenegro and Kosovo.
With England now qualified for Euro 2020, there are only a few friendlies scheduled before they begin next summer’s tournament.
And Sherwood believes Southgate has blundered by passing over a ‘special talent’ in Grealish, who he claims should be in his starting line-up.
“For me, England have missed the boat with Jack Grealish,” he said on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“I think he should have been in the squad over the last few games and with only two friendlies in March, I think it might be a bit late for Jack.
“This kid is something different, the ball is his friend – 100 per cent they missed the boat on him.
“I love Mason Mount, he’s got goals and runs without the ball and gets himself in the area, and I like James Maddison, he’s got great awareness, can see a pass and has started adding goals to his game.
“But Jack takes the ball to the opposition, he goes right to the heart of people, he dribbles it like Paul Gascoigne, although he’s got a long way to go before he’s anywhere near Paul Gascoigne.
“But if he was surrounded by the great international players we’ve got in the England team at the moment, I think we ‘ve missed a trick.
“This kid is special. He’s creates a mêlée around him, he sees the pass and realises it at the right time.
“Yes, he’s got to add more goals to his game, he won’t ever score as many goals as Mason Mount will, but what he does is he realises players with freedom because he creates such a crowd around him.”
Sherwood believes Grealish, Mount and Harry Winks should be England’s first choice midfield based on their current form and the balance of their abilities.
Winks started in the number ten position and scored his first international goal in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Kosovo, with the Tottenham ace named man-of-the-match.
But Sherwood believes the 23-year-old would be a better suited in a deeper position and hinted that he should start over Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, as he’s more adventurous with the ball.
“If you look at the England side and the players they’ve got, I think Winks’ position is going to be the number six,” added the ex-Tottenham player and coach.
“He’s got great awareness and is not afraid to pass through lines than just keep it safe and boring.
“I understand he doesn’t have the experience Jordan Henderson has, but he’s got more experience than Declan Rice and I think it’s between those three for that number six position.
“If Gareth is going to play with a six and two eights, I would definitely be playing Mount and Grealish either side of Harry Winks at the moment.”
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