Jack Grealish to miss England matches after admission from Man City assistant boss.
Jack Grealish missed Manchester City’s thrashing of Fulham on Saturday, with England boss Gareth Southgate now being handed a major blow ahead of the international break.
Jack Grealish will miss both of England’s games in the upcoming international break through injury.
The Manchester City star had been selected as part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine and the friendly with Scotland. But the attacker missed the champions’ 5-1 romp over Fulham after picking up an injury at Sheffield United last week.
And now stand-in City boss Juanma Lillo has admitted that he expects Grealish to drop out of Southgate’s squad. He believes the games against Ukraine next Saturday and Scotland a week on Wednesday will come too soon for Grealish to return to fitness.
Lillo, who has stood in for the injured Pep Guardiola to take charge of City’s last two games, said: “It’s going to be difficult for Jack to make it for the national team call up. But I’m not a doctor and it would be difficult for me to explain.
“It’s always difficult in the Premier League. It’s true that the score line did not reflect that first-half we had. In the second-half we were a lot better, I’m not going to say 5-1 better but a different level.”
Grealish’s injury will be a blow to Southgate as he looks to solidify England’s position at the top of their qualifying group. The Three Lions boss revealed when he announced his squad that he was keen to keep his group from June’s qualifiers together.
That meant there was no place for Raheem Sterling, with Grealish instead one of those favoured in attack. Southgate defended the exclusion of Sterling, insisting it was important for his squad to have continuity.
“The basis of this squad is that we left Old Trafford [v North Macedonia] after two really good performances, and four good performances in the group, so I didn’t really want to move from the squad we had that day and we’re only three games into the start of the season,” he said.
“We were really pleased with the group [from June] and to bring Raheem back in, we’d have to leave someone else out and on the back of three games, I didn’t think anyone in this attacking group of players warrants being left out.
“It’s really good to see Raheem start the season so well, he looks in good condition, he looks hungry and he’s obviously an important player for us and has been an important player for us.
“But in those attacking areas, just behind the nine, we have a lot of competition for places and I think all of those players have started the season well and the group that are with us have done really well in recent games.
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“It’s a difficult call and Raheem’s not particularly happy about it, but I understand that because he’s an important player for us and I’m convinced he’s going to have an excellent season with Chelsea, I have no doubt about that.”
With Eberechi Eze, Phil Foden, James Maddison, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka all also in the squad, it is unlikely that Southgate will call anyone up to replace Grealish should he pull out as expected.