Waddle says Grealish should have been given more time for England

‘You can’t give him 15 minutes and say “see what happens” – he might never get another game’: Chris Waddle believes Gareth Southgate made a mistake in not handing Jack Grealish more time to make an impact for England in Denmark draw

  • Jack Grealish was handed his long-awaited England debut against Denmark 
  • The Aston Villa captain replaced fellow debutant Kalvin Phillips after 76 minutes 
  • Gareth Southgate has been criticised for not giving Grealish more on-field time
  • Former England man Chris Waddle would even have dropped Sancho for him   

Chris Waddle believes Gareth Southgate made a mistake in not allowing Jack Grealish to make more of an impact during England’s Nations League clashes.

The Aston Villa captain was handed his senior international debut against Denmark on Tuesday evening, replacing Kalvin Phillips on his own maiden appearance, for the latter stages of the clash. 

But Waddle has been left irked by the treatment of Grealish, and insisted he would have dropped the ineffectual Jadon Sancho to help the 24-year-old flourish.

Chris Waddle says Gareth Southgate made a mistake in not giving Jack Grealish more minutes

Former England star Waddle (left) insists he would have dropped Jadon Sancho for Grealish

Two blunt displays from the Three Lions have seen them collect four points, including the drab 1-0 win over Iceland, and Southgate’s stubbornness over not selecting Grealish has seen him heavily criticised.  

Former England star Waddle told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘These were two good games to have a look at Jack Grealish.

‘If Grealish had started both games, would he have been a weakness in the team? No he wouldn’t.

Grealish came on for his debut against Denmark with England struggling to create chances

‘So where would you play him? Jadon Sancho is not doing it for me – he’s doing it for Dortmund, not for England. So you think “I’ll play Grealish in these games and if he’s not playing well, bring Sancho on”.

‘You know what Sancho can do. If Grealish plays badly you say “maybe he’s not an England player”. But let’s see if he could do it and this was the perfect opportunity.

‘You can’t give him 15 minutes and say “see what happens” – he might never get another game.’

Despite featuring in just a small number of minutes as England ground out results, Grealish expressed his delight with finally being able to make his bow. 

But despite his limited opportunity, Grealish thanked Southgate after the goalless stalemate

He also paid tribute to Southgate for handing him the opportunity. 

‘I was actually a bit emotional. It’s something you dream of,’ he told Sky Sports after the stalemate. ‘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.’ 

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