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‘Has the potential’: Pundit expects Aston Villa ace to ‘get the recognition he deserves’ at Euro 2020

Andros Townsend has backed Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish to be one of the breakout stars of Euro 2020 in his column for the Daily Star.

The departing Crystal Palace winger believes this summer’s European Championship could see Grealish earn the international recognition he deserves. Townsend is a big fan of Grealish for what the 25-year-old has achieved at Villa Park over recent seasons.

But feels Grealish is yet to be acknowledged for his ability on the global scene. The Aston Villa product only made his England debut in September but has since started his following six appearances.

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Grealish will be expected to play a leading role in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad at Euro 2020 this summer. He is yet to score for his country but offered a third assist last Sunday during England’s friendly with Romania.

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The Aston Villa talisman also enters the tournament on the back of creating 12 Premier League goals and scoring six. Only Harry Kane registered more assists with 14, and Townsend expects Grealish to now build on that record.

“Jack Grealish has the potential to become a breakout star in this European Championships,” Townsend wrote.

“We’ve already seen so many edge-of-the-seat moments from him in the Premier League and I see this as a tournament where he starts to get the recognition he deserves on the European and world stage. He’s that good.

“He and Manchester City’s Phil Foden should start England’s first game against Croatia. In an ideal world, I’d like to see one tricky player and one quick player against what I believe to be an ageing side, just to vary it up.”

TBR’s view: Grealish can light up Euro 2020

Aston Villa are a completely different side without Grealish and Southgate will hope England are not the same this summer. But the 25-year-old can light up Euro 2020 if given the chance against strong competition for a starting role.

Grealish can produce those moments of magic with the ball at his feet that Townsend lauds. He is also a leader on the field and one opponents fear when he’s running with the ball. It was no wonder that he was the most fouled Premier League player last season.

But Southgate may also fear that trend continuing at Euro 2020 and Grealish sustaining an injury. However, the chance for the Aston Villa leader to light up the tournament is surely too great to play cautiously.

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