England manager Roy Hodgson wants Jack Grealish to pick a country

England manager Roy Hodgson wants Jack Grealish to pick a country

Roy Hodgson has called on Jack Grealish to decide whether wants to play for the Republic of Ireland or England.

Hodgson first declared an interest in calling Grealish into his squad towards the end of last season when the midfielder played a key role in Aston Villa’s escape from relegation.

England manager Roy Hodgson wants Jack Grealish to pick a country

The 19-year-old was born in Solihull but qualifies for Ireland because his grandparents were born here. He has previously represented Ireland at underage level.

The talented teenager rejected a call-up to Martin O’Neill’s squad in June as he said he needed time to decide which country to represent.

Yet three months on, O'Neill and Hodgson are still waiting for an answer from the player.

“I’m not 100 per cent certain of what he is waiting for,” the England manager said.

“As far as I am concerned, I would like him to come out and say: ’I’ve thought about it, I’ve got the two possibilities and I’m opting for England’ and then of course he will be available for selection.

“But he has been injured, to be fair, so he wouldn’t have been selectable for any team, England, Ireland, at whatever level during these September fixtures.

“Now maybe before the October fixtures he might make that decision.”

Hodgson will not set a deadline for Grealish to declare his allegiance to either country, but he made it abundantly clear his chances of breaking into his squad for Euro 2016 are ebbing away by the minute.

“It would be nice if he says yes and then he would have a year to see if he could knock one or two of these players off their perch,” Hodgson added.

“That would be pleasant but there is no time limit. At 19, it is important he gives it the right amount of thought because he has a lot of time ahead of him for playing international football.

“We’ve spoken to him and what we’ve said, quite simply, is that we think he is a very talented footballer. We think he could have a very good international career and we would be more than happy if he chose that career to be England. I made it clear to him: ’It’s got to be your decision, it’s got to be something you really want to do and that feels right’.”

After beating San Marino 6-0 to qualify for Euro 2016, Hodgson and his current England squad are now beginning preparations for their next game at home to Switzerland on Tuesday.

Having moved level with Sir Bobby Charlton’s 49-goal tally in Serravalle, Wayne Rooney is looking to become England’s all-time top scorer in the Group E game at Wembley.

’It’s a proud moment,” the 29-year-old said after finding the net in San Marino. ”To be there sitting at the top with (Charlton) in terms of goals is a great achievement and something I’m very proud of.

”Obviously I feel like I’ve got a lot of time left to go on and be the leading scorer but it’s just a huge moment for me.”

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