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01-Sep-2020, 04:12 pm

Grealish: Playing alongside the best in the world for England will help me reach the next level

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish says that playing alongside "the best in the world" for England will help him to reach the next level in his career.

Southgate justified the decision by insisting that the midfielder is currently behind Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling andMarcus Rashford in the pecking order, but he wasforced to shuffle his pack on Monday.

United star Rashford withdrew from the squad along with Tottenham's Harry Winks, which freed up room for Grealish to be handed his first-ever international call-up.

The 24-year-old, whose recent performances have seen him heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, is now looking forward to learning from the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling while improving his all-round game on the biggest stage.

"I believe in my own ability and I'm confident I can perform at international level," the Villa talisman told The Sun after getting the call from Southgate. "But I also want to improve and I'm eager to learn what it takes to be a success at this level.

"If anything, I believe the better the players you play with or against, then the better you will perform yourself. I've always believed that.

"When you look around the England squad, they are not just the best players in the country - they are the best in the world.

"I've played against these guys when they've been playing for Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs, with not a lot of success!

"Now I can't wait to actually train beside them and, hopefully, team up with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold, rather than trying to stop them.

"I know I can become an even better player by learning from these amazing players."

Grealish went on to admit that he struggled to accept being omitted from the England set-up back when Roy Hodgson was in charge, before insisting he is now ready to take on the "biggest challenge" of his fledgling career to date.

"I want to show the manager what I'm all about, play to the best of my ability and, hopefully, keep my place in the squad," he added. "Sure, I had planned and hoped it would happen earlier in my career.

"Five years ago Roy Hodgson was on the verge of selecting me after I chose to represent England instead of Ireland.

"But our next games were against the Republic of Ireland and Scotland and it was put on hold. That was frustrating. Now all I want is the chance to show what I can do - it's the biggest challenge of my career and I can't wait.

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