Aston Villa are in fine form right now and are making a push to win promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.
Dean Smith’s side have began to find some real consistency, winning four games heading into the international break.
That’s coincided with the return of Jack Grealish, with the 23-year-old in fine form since shaking off a shin problem that kept him sidelined for three months.
There’s no denying that in this kind of form, Grealish is the best player outside the Premier League, but still, an international call-up hasn’t presented itself.
Gareth Southgate has addressed that recently in the media, telling Sky Sports in an in-depth interview that the fact Grealish plays in the Championship is working against him as he looks for his first England cap.
“Jack worked with us in the U21s briefly,” he told Sky.
“Although we can see the quality, when the evidence of the opponent is a different level, that’s where it’s hard to directly correlate what that’s going to look like at a level above.
“With Callum [Hudson-Odoi], he’s playing Europa League, he’s playing Premier League – that does make a difference.
“I’m not going to say we won’t pick a player from the Championship because that could happen but it’s far more difficult to assess his level.
“He’s a player we know all about, he’s a player we track, but that last bit of evidence that could give you confidence to pick him at the moment we won’t see.
“But as an ex-Villa man, I hope it’s not too long before we do see it.”
On the face of things it is really disappointing for Grealish, but he should be taking the positives.
Here is three reasons why…
He will be playing in the Premier League next season
You’d expect that one way or another, Grealish will be a Premier League player again next season.
Villa can still get there this season, whilst someone from the top-fight would surely pay big money to sign the 23-year-old if they missed out.
That opens doors for Grealish.
He’s on Southgate’s radar
“He’s a player we know all about, he’s a player we track” – Southgate knows all about Grealish and worked with him at under-21 level too.
This isn’t an English manager picking players on reputation, he’s picking players on form.
That means he will know how impressive Grealish has been this last month.
The quality he possesses
Ultimately, this is a very talented player we are talking about and he will back his ability on any stage.
Grealish is only doing it in the Championship, but he will be a success in the Premier League when he gets back there.
From that point, anything can happen and his international dream is still alive.