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Grealish not available for England qualifiers due to international clearance

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Sep 2015

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Jack Grealish will not be considered for selection for England’s forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania as he waits for international clearance to be granted.

Aston Villa midfielder Grealish represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level, eligible through his grandparents despite being born in Solihull.

But, following continued speculation and expressions of admiration from England manager Roy Hodgson, the 20-year-old pledged his international future to the country of his birth on Monday.

Hodgson is set to name his squad for England’s concluding Group E matches on Thursday, although Omnisport understands that Grealish will not feature due to the period of time required to process his international clearance.

An FA spokesman was unable to place a definitive timescale upon when Grealish can expect to receive his clearance, but the process rules him out of the games at Wembley against Estonia and in Lithuania on October 9 and 12 respectively.

England have already secured qualification for Euro 2016 and November’s friendlies against Spain and France will provide the next opportunity for Grealish to make his full international bow.

Speaking to AVTV earlier on Tuesday, Villa manager Tim Sherwood suggested that the wrangling over Grealish’s future at the top level had become a burden for the player, who he urged to concentrate on reaching top form for his club.

“It’s good news for England,” Sherwood said. “Hopefully Jack has cleared his mind now.

“We’re looking for some improved performances from him now on the pitch so those international managers are very excited and choose to pick him.

“He’s got a lot of competition there so he needs to make sure that he is playing well for Aston Villa – and we’re sure he will.”

Sherwood feels Grealish boasts considerable potential but conceded that making England’s final 23-man squad for Euro 2016 could be asking too much at this stage of his fledging career.

“He has loads of potential – and that’s what it is at the moment,” he added. “He needs to start fulfilling that potential. He needs to improve every season that goes by.

“That will mean he might get picked by England and becomes an international but I think this championship might be a little bit too soon for him. He’s got a long way to go.”

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