By Dominic Toner
Aidy Boothroyd has hailed “brilliant” Jack Grealish and claimed he has has been a joy to work with in the England Under-21s.
The Aston Villa midfielder has been involved in several off-field incidents during his career, including being suspended by the club this season following an alleged all-night party after playing Ipswich.
Grealish, 21, has been with Boothroyd and his England Under-21s squad, but missed last week’s win against Kazakhstan through injury.
He is in contention to play on Tuesday night against Bosnia and will hope to continue his recent form on the pitch.
England Under-21s caretaker manager Boothroyd believes that Grealish is an exceptional talent and must continue to train hard and reap the rewards.
“He’s been brilliant, he’s a terrific guy and we’ve had no problems whatsoever,” Boothroyd told the Football Association website. “He comes in, trains and the past is the past. It’s about dealing with the present and focusing on the future. He is training hard, working well and we move on.
“He is upbeat, has plenty to say for himself, has a lovely personality and he is playing for his country and he has to make sure he stays in this group.”
Grealish has already made 10 appearances this season for Villa and scored two goals, including a fantastic solo effort against Rotherham.
He only made nine appearances for the Midlands club last season due to injuries, poor form and a series of off-field controversies.
Grealish has also struggled with injuries and consistency throughout his career, but has shown in glimpses in the Premier League and for England’s Under-21 that he has real ability.
He played for the Republic of Ireland as a youngster before deciding to pledge his international duty to England, and has won the 2016 Toulon Tournament with the Under-21 team.
In other Aston Villa news, Brett Holman has summed the club up with a scathing one-word verdict.