Gareth Southgate admits that the challenge he posed to the Aston Villa captain, Jack Grillish, has come up.
Gryllis went on to become his third England under Southgate in Thursday’s friendly against Republic Ireland at Wembley.
But many feel the 25-year-old should have had many more caps on his name as he has consistently impressed for Villa in the Premier League stage.
Southgate had previously spoken of the fierce competition for Grillish’s last product and place when asked why the playmaker’s record of four goals and five assists has been recorded in only seven top-flight matches this season.
Southgate said at a news conference on Wednesday: “We’ve got three matches and he’s likely to start in any one of those three. He’s definitely going to play a key role in our camp. He’s playing. Very good.
“The biggest thing for me is, I’ve talked a lot with Jack about the final product and he’s scored one goal in the last 22 games of last season. He’s four in seven Premier League games and five in all competitions this year.
“His support is high so the number he’s throwing right now, when we were choosing Rahim at the end of last season. [Sterling] And Marcus [Rashford], 20 goals plus, Jack is hitting these figures this season and it’s a great move. “
England face Ireland after their national league group decision against Belgium and Iceland.
“We know his all-round game has always been good. It’s really important to hit those numbers when you’re an attacking player,” Southgate added. “He is doing well. And his work is really improving without the ball.
“His pressure, his discipline about his defending. I can’t be happier than what he’s doing. It’s a really good moment for him and he’s definitely going to play a big role for us this week.”
Grilish made his debut for Denmark in September and was impressed with his man-of-the-match performance against Wales during the last international break.
But he was later dropped for clashes with Belgium and Denmark at Wembley.
Former Villarrer defender Julian Lescott recently told Sky Sports: “For whatever reason, Grilish is not getting enough minutes. He certainly deserves more opportunities and needs a few more minutes to show what he can do.
“Everyone wanted him in the squad and he deservedly got his place. But in the last games he didn’t get a few minutes, and it looked like England were fighting. [against Denmark]”
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