‘These are games I’ve dreamt of playing in’: Jack Grealish admits he ‘absolutely loved’ making his first competitive start for England in Belgium as Aston Villa star reveals he has modelled his game on Kevin De Bruyne and Philippe Coutinho
- Jack Grealish says he dreamed about making his competitive start for England
- He was England’s top man again, with calls for him to start more often growing
- CLICK HERE to read the full match report from Belgium’s win over England
It was a dream come true for Jack Grealish, despite the loss, as he made his first competitive start for England against Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday.
For the second game in a row, Jack Grealish was England’s star man, with Belgium often finding him difficult to deal with in the middle of the park.
After the game, Grealish revealed he had been watching clips of one of his opponents, Kevin De Bruyne, as well as the likes of Philippe Coutinho, as he looks to improve his game.
Jack Grealish says he watches clips of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne to try and improve his game
Speaking to Sky Sports, Grealish said: ‘I absolutely loved it. I think for me, this is what I’ve been waiting for. These are games I’ve dreamt of playing in, against the first ranked team in the world.
‘I’ve grown up my whole life wanting to go play for England. Obviously it’s a team game and we wanted to go out and win tonight and I’m gutted we can’t get the win.’
Grealish revealed that he found out he would be starting the game on Saturday, and knew it was another chance for him to impress in an England shirt.
The midfielder was England’s standout performer and the highlight of their 2-0 defeat
Philippe Coutinho is another player Grealish says he takes inspiration from in his play
With another good performance under his belt, calls will only continue to grow for him to keep his spot in the starting XI.
He puts his performances down to research. He said: ‘I watched loads of clips of De Bruyne and Coutinho and loads of players in my position, and that’s what I’ve done since I was a little kid. There’s no shame in saying that, that’s what gets me going.’
Grealish put together a number of excellent dribbles from midfield, and linked up well with Harry Kane, who he hopes to continue to build a partnership with.
Jack Grealish sent a huge message to Gareth Southgate after impressing against Belgium
‘We play well, I try to look for him and I know the damage he can do,’ said Grealish.
However, he knows there is plenty of talent that was missing on Sunday, and he has a fight on his hands to keep his spot.
I think I look at the changing room and there’s unbelievable talent and there’s Marcus [Rashford], Raheem [Sterling], Jadon [Sancho], Phil [Foden] all in my position who are all class. Especially the players who aren’t here at the moment. I’ve tried to learn little bits off them. It’s been a dream for me to play with them.’
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