Grealish sends message to Southgate after making long-awaited England debut

Jack Grealish has thanked Gareth Southgate for what was an "emotional" England debut against Denmark.

The Aston Villa star was a late call-up to the Three Lions squad for their Nations League double header.

And he was introduced as a second-half sub in Copenhagen as England meandered to a goalless draw.

Many feel as if Grealish's debut was long overdue following an impressive campaign in a struggling Villa side.

And the 24-year-old is planning on making it the first of many.

He told Sky Sports: "I was actually a bit emotional. It's something you dream of. Everyone dreams as a little kid of playing for England.

"It was such a privilege coming on and it's a shame we couldn't get the win in the end. I want to thank Gareth [Southgate] for giving me the opportunity and hopefully it is the first of many.

"I got told to warm up and I stayed out there for 10, 15 minutes until I got the call. When I did it was obviously a brilliant moment for me. I'm sure I'll have a few messages but it's obviously a brilliant day for myself and one of the best of my career so far.

"It's my first game and I was happy with how I've done with my debut and as I say hopefully it's the first of a few. I've enjoyed every single minute. Everyone has made me feel welcome here."

Grealish's debut was potentially helped by the absence of Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood.

The pair were send home after breaching coronavirus regulations and have since apologised, but the Villa man hasn't paid too much attention to the saga.

He added: "I've tried not to look into it too much. They're young kids who will learn. It's my first England camp myself and I've just focused on myself and tried to impress the manager. They're both brilliant kids and I'm sure they'll learn from what they've done."

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