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Aston Villa

Kevin Nolan raves over Jack Grealish’s EFL Cup semi-final performance vs Leicester

Former Premier League midfielder Kevin Nolan says Jack Grealish’s performance in the EFL Cup semi-final convinced him he is worthy of the hype.

Nolan, 37, told TalkSport that he had been wary of everything that goes around the Aston Villa captain but paid tribute to him after he took his side to Wembley.

He said: “I’ve got to be honest; until [Tuesday] night, I was a bit fearful about everything and the hype around Grealish. I always knew he was a talent, but he’s been up and down in terms of being in the papers and doing what he did.

“But watching him last night – he was head and shoulders above everybody. He was absolutely fantastic and when you have a talent like him, you can’t afford not to take him to (international) tournaments. He has got to go [to Euro 2020]. Also, you have got to take Maddison.”

(James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

TBR’s View – What took Nolan so long?

Anyone still focusing on what Grealish was like in the early part of his career isn’t paying close enough attention.

He was instrumental in Villa’s promotion from the Championship but he still had to prove he could have the same impact in the Premier League to answer lingering questions about his suitability for England.

Grealish has emphatically done that this season and Tuesday night was just the latest example.

For Gareth Southgate, the question is now whether to play Grealish in central midfield or pushed further up on the left hand side, especially in the absence of Marcus Rashford for the March friendlies.

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