Andy Townsend says Aston Villa's Jack Grealish should make his mind up quickly about his international future

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish qualifies to play for England and the Republic of Ireland but is yet to decide his long-term international future.

Andy Townsend has urged Jack Grealish to “get on with it” and decide whether to play for England or Republic of Ireland internationally, speaking to Sky Sports.

The Aston Villa midfielder rejected a call-up to the Ireland senior squad last month leading to speculation that he wants to play for England in the future.

Grealish has had a tremendous breakthrough season at Villa, becoming a first team regular under Tim Sherwood and putting in a starring role to lead his side to the FA Cup final, which they ultimately lost to Arsenal.

The 19-year-old is an extremely talented playmaker, who has superb ball control as well as a reliability on the ball in the final third which other players his age lack. Although he grew up as a wide midfielder, Sherwood has used him in a more central position as he believes that is where his talents are best utilised.

Grealish has completed 79% of his dribbles in the league this season and has won an average of over two fouls per game. Not only is he positionally aware but he is also a very tricky character whose technique would stand up to the test of performing on the international stage.

It would be a risk choosing a nation like England, who are prolific in producing talented footballers, but there is no doubt that he is more likely to be noticed should he choose the Three Lions.

He is still very young and is taking his time over a decision which could shape his entire career but Townsend believes he is dragging it out and it could be seen as disrespectful.

Townsend was in a similar situation during his playing career, having grown up in England and played for Villa himself.

He told Sky Sports, “He has a strong Irish background but he’s a Brummie and born in the UK, so there are similarities between him and myself but I don’t believe that you should be taking forever and a day to make a decision like this.

“By now, Jack must know whether his heart lies in a green shirt or whether he’d like to represent England. I think he must know so I don’t understand what the wait is now.

“Jack must know where he wants to pledge his allegiance and whichever way that is then good luck to him. But it’s time to get on with it.

“I don’t think there should be a big drama drawn out over a long period because in the end it can start to get a little disrespectful."

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