Alan Hutton has blasted Gareth Southgate’s decision to exclude Aston Villa attacker Jack Grealish from his initial England squad.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa full back delivered his verdict after his ex-teammate was finally called up to the squad after Marcus Rashford and Harry Winks withdrew with injury.
Grealish, 24, played seven times for England u21s after switching allegiances from the Republic of Ireland but this is his first call up to the senior side.
Congratulations, @JackGrealish 👏
Welcome to the #ThreeLions!
— England (@England) August 31, 2020
Conor Coady, Phil Foden, Kalvin Phillips, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mason Greenwood also all received their first call ups for England’s Nations League game against Iceland and Denmark.
Hutton told Football Insider: “We can’t hide from the fact he wasn’t in the initial squad. If everybody was fit, he wouldn’t have been in the squad.
“Is it going to affect him if he moves to Manchester United? Well, probably it’ll be that he gets in the squad, I don’t know why.
“Yes, he’ll be playing with better players week in, week out but he’s still doing his business on the pitch whether it be at Villa or elsewhere. So I think he should have got the call up initially, in my opinion. It’s just one of those where it depends on how the manager sees it.
“I just thought overall, Southgate was being loyal to the players that he’d picked in past squads.
“He knew Jack Grealish was knocking on the door but he was willing to hold him off until the next international break.”
Grealish scored 10 goals in 41 games for Villa last season as they finished 17th in the Premier League and reached the League Cup final.