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Jack Grealish Called ‘Closest Thing To Paul Gascoigne’ After Outstanding England Display

Jack Grealish Called ‘Closest Thing To Paul Gascoigne’ After Outstanding England Display

Jack Grealish has been hailed as the "closest thing to Paul Gascoigne" after he lit up an otherwise forgettable England performance against Belgium in the Nations League.

Troy Deeney made the comparison between the Aston Villa captain and midfield genius Gazza on talkSPORT, responding to Grealish's dynamic display in England's 2-0 defeat. Gareth Southgate labelled it "outstanding", while Gary Lineker said how much he loved watching Grealish on Twitter.

But Watford striker Deeney went a step further, comparing Grealish to maverick midfielder Gascoigne who became a global superstar during England's 1990 World Cup campaign.

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"Jack is absolutely fearless," Deeney told Laura Woods. "He'll want the ball in any situation, it doesn't matter who he's playing against, he wants it. He wants to drive and impose himself on the game.

"I've said it previously and got laughed at - he's the closest thing to Gascoigne, in my opinion.

"We haven't seen that maverick, that guy who will turn a game on its head and literally wants the ball anywhere."

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Deeney, who's scored 47 Premier League goals for Watford, explained that having a player unafraid to take risks was crucial when attempting to win a major tournament.

"That's a very strong thing to have, especially going into Euros where there's going to be pressure and it will be amplified," he said.

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"You need players who don't care about making a mistake, who are going to make that horrible through-ball pass and take that chance. It's easy to go side-to-side, but he'll try and go through and try and score.

"He might lose it four or five times, but with that sixth one we might go and win the game 1-0 and it's because of him."

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Grealish's place in the England set-up has been a huge source of debate. England boss Southgate previously seemed reluctant to utilise the in-form Villa attacker, although he handed Grealish his first competitive start against Belgium (albeit while Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford were both absent).

While Grealish impressed many with his performance, there are still questions about where the 25-year-old might fit into Southgate's preferred set-up, which seems to rely on defensive midfielders in the centre and pace out wide.

Former England international Danny Mills slammed Grealish's display, pointing out he didn't score, assist or test the goalkeeper against Belgium. Although most watching would agree he was by far England's liveliest attacking talent.

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Gascoigne was a player, like Grealish, who ran at defenders and wasn't afraid to try a bit of magic. He dazzled at times for England, although he wasn't as reliable at club level, suffering several injuries while battling a multitude of personal issues off the pitch.

Can Grealish (or "Grezza") possibly do in 2021 what Gazza did for England in the 1990s? Let us know in the comments.

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Football News, Football, Jack Grealish, International Football, England, Troy Deeney, Paul Gascoigne

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.