England midfielder Jack Grealish is delighted to be compared to former Three Lion’s midfielder, Paul Gascoigne.
Gascoine was Three Lion’s favourite during his playing days for the team. The commendation is coming from his Man of The Match display against Wales in the international friendly played at the Wembley on Thursday.
His impressive performance is coming on the heels of another wonderful display against Liverpool in his last outing for Aston Villa in the English Premier League. He assisted three goals and scored two against the defending champions.
He was involved in the first goal of the Wales encounter, crossing a lovely ball to in-form Everton striker, Dominic Calvert-Lewin to open his England account on his debut.
Why Jack Grealish wants to be like Paul Gascoigne
His bursts from midfield have seen pundits such as Steve McLaren and Martin Keown compare him to Gazza, as Gascoine is usually called. The former England midfielder won 57 caps and shone at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96.
“I don’t really see myself as him but I’d love to be like him, the way that he played football.
“I would love to get compared to Gazza. I think he is an absolute icon. He, along with Wayne Rooney, was probably one of the greatest England players over the last 30 years.
“There have been a load but if they were the top two, Gazza would be my first.”
He also said he wants to play the game with joy as Gazza did during his playing days.
“One of the biggest compliments for people to say to you is that you make them happy watching football,” said the Villa captain.
Grealish having an outstanding season with Villa
After making his debut for his boyish club in 2012, Grealish has been enjoying an outstanding spell of form.
However, his journey to the national team was not straightforward. The 25-year-old was sent home from an England boys camp after collapsing. This made him play for the Republic of Ireland at youth level.
“I played for them because of how much I enjoyed it, but as I got older I realised I am English, my family is English and in the future, that’s what I want to do,” he said.
Grealish will be looking forward to being in the starting line in Gareth Southgate’s England side when they face world number one side Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday (kick-off 17:00 BST).
England will later host Denmark on Wednesday (19:45).