Alan Hutton claims that Aston Villa star Jack Grealish will be “desperate” for minutes after his first call up to the England squad.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa defender admitted his heart bled for his old teammate after the 24-year-old was initially snubbed by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
It was confirmed on Monday that Grealish had been included among the England squad for their upcoming games against Iceland and Denmark after Harry Winks and Marcus Rashford withdrew.
.@JackGrealish ➡️ 🏴
Our captain has been called up to the England squad for the first time!
Congratulations, Jack 👏#AVFC
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 31, 2020
Hutton, who saw Grealish come through the youth ranks during his time at Villa Park, has given his first-hand verdict on the playmaker and insists it is up to him to prove his worth on the international stage.
Hutton told Football Insider: “I felt for him because he was told last year by Southgate that he needed more experience in the Premier League which is fair enough, I understand that comment, he probably did need to be tested at a higher level.
“It was there for everybody to see how good a season he had, how much he contributed to everything that Villa did going forward and in defence.
“He proved he can play in multiple positions and I’m just glad that – yes it’s because of call-offs – he’s in that squad and he can show everybody how good he can be.
“Everybody was backing his corner for him to be given the opportunity to play and now he’s been given the opportunity. It’s down to him now, we obviously all believe in him, all trust and believe he can perform at that level.
“It’s all about him now. I know he doesn’t get nervous about things like this, he kind of takes it all in his stride and I’m sure he’s desperate for minutes on the pitch so he can show everyone what he’s capable of.”
In other Aston Villa news, a 29-year-old has been tipped for a big role after a senior setback.