Former West Brom midfielder Steven Reid has advice for Aston Villa boy wonder

Jack Grealish

The Burnley midfielder also switched allegiances at international level, from England to Ireland.

Jack Grealish has had a breakthrough year in 2015. Since Tim Sherwood took over at the club from Paul Lambert he has made the winger a pivotal part of the team.

He has repaid that faith. His performances have helped Villa to Premier League safety and an FA Cup final.

Of course his form at club level has attracted interest on the international stage.

Grealish has something of a choice to make. The Birmingham-born attacker is also eligible for the Republic of Ireland, and has represented the nation at youth level. However, he recently rejected a call-up from former Villa boss Martin O'Neill and has divided opinion in Ireland as to whether he is simply waiting for an England call-up.

He has recently been criticised by former Birmingham City captain Kenny Cunningham for his stance regarding his international future, but a former West Brom player understands his quandary.

Steven Reid, who will retire this summer after a campaign with Burnley, is set to play his final game in football against Grealish's Villa this weekend. The 34-year-old utility man, who won 23 caps for Ireland despite playing for England at youth level, spent four years with Villa's rivals West Brom. But he has not let that cloud his judgement on the youngster. He told Goal.com:

“It’s a difficult one for him, I think that it has got to come from the heart but it’s a decision that is not going to be taken lightly...

“I’m sure he will probably come to that decision over the summer but he has got to go with his gut instincts and what he feels.

“He’s obviously come through the younger ages groups playing with Ireland so it would be nice if he could carry on with Ireland.

“You can almost see the squad being built around him over the next few years and whether that would be the same situation with the England squad, whether he’d get the same amount of chances with them is a different matter."

Grealish's current aim is simply on getting an FA Cup winners medal around his neck this season, after a fantastic campaign.

But soon enough he will have to decide on his international future. It is a decision both country's football fans await.

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