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Jack Grealish for England? Gareth Southgate cannot ignore unique talent

“What a footballer,” says Jurgen Klopp. “One of the best in the league,” according to Pep Guardiola. For Jose Mourinho, it's his creativity. For Mikel Arteta, his personality. Brendan Rodgers and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer point to his ability to drag opponents out of position. What every Premier League manager can agree on is that Jack Grealish is a bit special.

As he links up with the England squad this week, the relative merits of the Aston Villa captain are being assessed once more. Grealish was named man of the match in his only international start so far - the 3-0 friendly win over Wales at Wembley - but did not make it off the bench for the subsequent competitive games against Belgium and Denmark.

England manager Gareth Southgate already appears sick of answering questions about why the in-form Grealish is being made to wait, but the noise is not going to stop. Not when he is the most creative English player in the Premier League. Not when he joins up on the back of another masterful performance in helping Villa beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Paul Merson played for both clubs as well as alongside Southgate for Villa and England. He is at a loss to explain why there would be any reluctance to trust in Grealish's talent.

"The lad is just unreal," Merson tells Sky Sports.

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