England manager Gareth Southgate has said that Aston Villa star Jack Grealish must play in the Premier League if he wants to make his way into the senior squad.

Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish needs to play Premier League football if he wants to play for the England senior team, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate has said.

Grealish is yet to make a senior appearance for England after switching his international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland. His recent form upon his return from injury has led to calls from fans for him to be brought into the England squad, playing an important role as Villa have gone on a run of four consecutive wins.

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However, England boss Southgate has said that Grealish will need to prove himself in the Premier League if he wants a place in his squad.

“Jack worked with us in the Under-21s briefly,” Southgate told The Telegraph. “The difficulty is always, although we can see the quality. When the evidence of the opponent is a different level, that’s where it’s hard to directly correlate what that is going to look like at a level above.

“With Callum (Hudson-Odoi), he’s playing Europa League, he’s playing Premier League, that does make a difference.”

Derby County loanee Mason Mount did make his way into the England squad earlier on in the season and Southgate did go on to add that he could still bring Championship players in.

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“I’m not going to say we won’t pick a player from the Championship because that could happen but it’s far more difficult to assess his level. You see certain parts of the game but not others. Not the physicality at times, nor the tactical discipline.

“That’s another level in the Premier League: the speed, the pace. So, he’s a player we know all about, he’s a player we track. But that last bit of evidence that could give you the confidence to pick him at the moment we won’t see. But as an ex-Villa man, I hope it’s not too long before we do see it.”

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