Gary Neville has identified the “problem” Jack Grealish is suffering as he was snubbed by Gareth Southgate for a starting position against Belgium.
The midfielder impressed as he played a starring tole in the Three Lions’ 3-0 friendly win over Wales, fresh from two goals and three assists in a thumping of Liverpool.
But it was not enough to earn a place in the Nations League clash against Belgium, leading to speculation of a fallout with the England boss.
And Neville, who made 85 appearances over 12 years for England, believes Grealish is also facing issues with the current formation.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the former Manchester United defender said: “I think there’s a bit of a problem for Jack Grealish.
“If you stick with a 3-4-3, he wouldn’t be one of those two midfielders in the middle against the big teams.
“When you look at the front three, you’ve got [Jadon] Sancho, [Marcus] Rashford, [Raheem] Sterling, [Harry] Kane, [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin and more. Where would he get in there?
“He’s talented, he’s earned his place in the squad and I thought he was brilliant the other night.
“But this system does hamper him.
“If it was 4-3-3 or 3-5-2, you could see him playing in that system a little bit more.”
Fellow pundit Jamie Redknapp suggested, though, that Southgate had a different role in mind for the Villa midfielder.
“He played so well, I was so impressed with him,” he said.
“But it didn’t surprise me [that he was not chosen to start vs Belgium].
“We know he can do it at this level. He can do it in the Premier League.
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“He can give you a completely different problem when you play against him because he’s a dribbler.
“When someone picks up the ball and runs at you, it’s so difficult for him to be stopped.
“He may not start every game but he’s shown Gareth he can play at this level and he come off if needed for 20-25 minutes.
“I would like to have seen him play today, I must admit, but it’s a big opportunity for the other players. It feels like there’s a bit of competition in there.”
Grealish was the focus of a transfer saga with United over the summer – but has now explained why he chose to snub Old Trafford for a long-term deal at Aston Villa.
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