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9 Key Dates That Could Decide Jack Grealish's International Future

9 Key Dates That Could Decide Jack Grealish's International Future
By Gavan Casey
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Either put us out of our misery or fill our hearts with eternal hope, Mr. Grealish. We just want to know where we stand.

The number 10 who wears 40 on his back has declined Martin O'Neill's call-up for the crunch qualifier with Scotland and friendly with his country of birth, so we've taken a look at when this painful saga will likely come to a close.

May 2015

England Senior Squad (announcement currently due)

Roy Hodgson could name his squad for next month's European qualifier with Slovenia and glamour friendly in Dublin in the next few days, with Grealish's team mate Tom Cleverley expected to feature as his own rather bizarre international career looks set to resume. It will likely be a round of fixtures too soon for Grealish if his reasoning for turning down O'Neill's muted call-up is, well, true.

Hodgson would be opening up a minefield which, considering the other options at his disposal relative to Ireland's, he will choose to avoid for now. His inevitable comments regarding England's well-documented interest in Grealish will likely scare the bejaysus out of us, nonetheless.

England Under-20s Squad for The Toulon Tournament (announcement currently due, kicks off May 27th)


Perhaps the most understated approach were Grealish to opt for England, as the FA are sending their national side's under-20s as opposed to last year's under-21s. The squad announcement for last year's tournament in Region-Du-Var came exactly 364 days ago, which presumably means this year's squad announcement is imminent.

Aidy Boothroyd is expected to call upon Liverpool's Jordan Ibe amongst others, but given Grealish's first team prominence at Villa, it's unlikely that the Birmingham-born 19 year old will receive the call up to a squad lacking in such first team experience. His FA Cup final commitment in such close proximity to the tournament should also put pay to any England under-20s swoop later this month.

England Under-21s Squad for the European Championships (announcement expected late May/early June)


Gareth Southgate seems to be an integral figure in the Grealish tug-of-war, having visited the Villa starlet at Bodymoor Heath late last year. Were Grealish to switch national allegiance, accepting a call-up to England's under-21s for this summer's Euro Championships in the Czech Republic would seem to most natural transition; he could, after all, still go on to represent Ireland at senior level - technically speaking - but, in reality, he would be taking the least media-sensational path to declaring for his country of birth. This, despite Grealish's own assertions that he hopes to don the green jersey - at under-21 level at least - in the next few months.

The England under-21 squad announcement later this month might be pivotal to Grealish's international future. Then again, it might not. Who knows?

August 2015

Ireland Under-21s Squad for European Qualifier with Andorra (announcement expected late August/early September)


Grealish's father has been viewed by some on either side of the Irish sea as the Birmingham-born Neymar Senior, but did indicate last month that his son would likely pull on an Ireland under-21s jersey in September. In reality, were it to happen, it would prove nothing; it merely provides more time for the Villa man to decipher over his future at senior level. Which is fine. The furore surrounding any future Irish 21s appearance would may inspire him to become Ireland's destinal main man at the highest level. Or, knowing our unique Irish enthusiasm, it could royally creep him out.

If he features against Andorra on the 7th of September, don't hedge your bets.

Ireland Senior Squad for European Qualifiers with Gibraltar and Germany (announcement expected mid-August)


It seems unlikely, considering his indecision in May, that Grealish will have made his mind up by August. Ireland travel to Gibraltar on Friday September 4th and host Georgia the following Monday. Whilst the thought of Grealish's delightfully low-lying socks causing a blur of confuzzlement as he meanders through Gibraltar's defence of Montessori teachers and panel-beaters makes the heart skip a beat, his father's comments last month would suggest it'll be Ireland under-21s or nothing come September.

England Senior Squad for European Qualifiers with San Marino and Switzerland (announcement expected mid-August)


Unless the clamour for his England inclusion reaches fever pitch after a man of the match display in the FA Cup Final, forcing his hand into declaring for our dear old neighbours, thus rendering this entire post essentially redundant, same.

Ireland Senior Squad for European Qualifiers with Germany and Poland (announcement expected mid-September)

By then, Ireland may need rescuing. It would be a tough ask for Grealish to waltz in, a freshly declared Irishman, and run Mats Hummels ragged.


England Senior Squad for European Qualifiers with Estonia and Lithuania (announcement expected mid-September)

By then, England will be experimenting. Were he to finally accept an England call-up, their fixtures against lowly Estonia and Lithuania would literally centre around him. It would be a far more comfortable introduction.


England Senior Squad for Friendly with France (announcement expected early November)

With Ireland not currently scheduled for a November fixture, it would be the perfect chance for Grealish to declare for the Three Lions. No more tug of war. No double call-up. No phonecalls. No argument. All Grealish would have to do, should he so wish, is join up with the England squad for the first time, with European qualification already achieved. England play old rivals France on November 17th at Wembley. It might well bring an end to the longest-running international saga since a certain international star was sent home from the 2002 World Cup. Whatever became of Slovenia's Zlatko Zahovic?

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