Coach Southgate, who himself previously represented the national side, named Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse and Harry Winks as his midfielders ahead of England’s upcoming Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark.
And when asked why Aston Villa captain Grealish – his club’s standout performer last season – missed out on a place in the squad, Southgate had the following to say.
“With Jack, the simple answer is Mason Greenwood.
“[Grealish is] competing in my view against Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling.
“I know Villa have played him as an eight, but I don’t see him in that role for us.
“He could play as a 10, but we haven’t played with a 10. Also, some of those other players I’ve talked about would be very good 10s as well.
“He’s a talent, there’s no doubt about that, but I think Mason Greenwood’s performances, his goalscoring ability and maturity was impossible to leave out.”
Eighteen-year-old Greenwood, who is more of a forward, broke into Manchester United’s first team last term and netted 17 times.
Grealish, 24, has been linked with a move to United this summer after having helped to keep Villa in the Premier League on the final day of the season.
But momentum around the possible transfer has slowed in recent weeks, with the Old Trafford side prioritising a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho – although that deal now looks unlikely to be completed this summer, too.
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