Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has decided to opt to play for England over Republic of Ireland.
The 20-year-old has been one of the few brightest prospects for Tim Sherwood’s side since last season. He has taken his chance really well and has now set his sights on replicating that for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Born to English parents in Solihull, Grealish is eligible to play for England as it is his country of birth. He represented Republic of Ireland after qualifying through the grandparents rule and played for them at Under 17’s to Under 21 side.
When it came to deciding his national side, a life-long Villa fan selected the Three Lions over Republic of Ireland. It was confirmed by his club Villa on Monday.
“@JackGrealish1 has made a decision over his international future and opted to play for England. #AVFC,” Villa tweeted.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 28, 2015
Later the player himself confirmed his allegiance to England and said it was not an easy decision for him.
“I’ve decided to give my allegiance to England. It was not an easy decision as Ireland has a special place with me through my family. However, I have decided to represent my country of birth,” Grealish tweeted.
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) September 28, 2015
Villa star’s decision to join England over Republic of Ireland has come out as a surprise. There is no motive of winning a silverware as both countries are aware their current position does not favour them any chance of winning either the Euro 2016 or the 2018 FIFA World Cup, if they qualify for the latter.
A loyal Villa fan was voted as the Young Player of the Year last season. Grealish featured 20 times for Under 17 to Under 21 level for Republic of Ireland and will now be wearing the Three Lions’ shirt for the senior team.
The midfielder’s loyalty to the Villa Park outfit so far has been unquestionable and unconditional. However, when deciding his national side, Grealish has decided to pick the country of his birth.
Could Finance be the motive behind his decision to opt for England? Grealish belongs to Stellar Group Limited agency, which is headed by Jonathan Barentt. The same agency also have clients like Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale and Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw.
Barnett was keen for Bale to commit his future to England over Wales. However, the former Tottenham forward decided to snub his agent’s advise, because of which he has already lost “millions and millions of pounds” if he had decided to play for the Three Lions.
Coming from the same agency, Barnett could have advised Grealish to opt England over Republic of Ireland. Should this be true, English fans can only hope that he impresses over the years and help the national side win silverwares.
Finances deciding which country should the player opt for could be a matter of worry for the losing nation. In Grealish’s case, Republic of Ireland stand no chance over England if it comes down to moolah through commercial deals.