With England about to face Denmark for a place in the 2020 UEFA European Championships for a place in the final, there will be many English fans that will want to see Jack Grealish be given an opportunity.
Republic of Ireland and their national fans, though, will have only been too pleased to be able to call upon the Aston Villa superstar, had he committed his future to the Emerald Isle instead of the Three Lions.
Of course, there have been many players who have unfortunately decided to play for England instead of the Irish team, with Declan Rice another currently starring at the tournament and playing a crucial role as he has helped those who have bet on the nation throughout the tournament with maxfreebets.co.uk come out with some top results.
However, Grealish’s case was one that is a little different to everybody else as he had decided to turn down an Irish call-up without having been provided with any guarantee of playing for England; the country where he was born.
But, there was one man that was continuously in his ear throughout their time at Aston Villa together, with Roy Keane trying to convince the quality attacker to don the green jersey at the international level instead of the white one.
According to journalist Daniel Taylor of The Athletic, England had been continuing to watch him throughout the Irish age groups Grealish was playing in. Martin O’Neill must have heard about it as he looked to bring him into the senior squad in 2015, but the winger would go on to take a year away from international football to make a decision.
During this period, it has been claimed by an unnamed former Aston Villa player that Keane had kept trying to persuade Grealish to play for Ireland as the former Manchester United midfielder held coaching responsibilities at both club and international level.
The article stated: “There was a lot of pressure on Jack at that time because the stories were making headlines. He had represented Ireland and felt a degree of responsibility.
“But he was English and he would say that to us. That’s why I always knew that he would decide to play for England in the end.
“It wasn’t that easy, though, because Roy Keane was our assistant at the time. He was always in Jack’s ear, trying to get him to play for Ireland.”
Clearly, Keane’s attempts failed and Grealish now has the opportunity to win one of the biggest football titles available in the European game.