Paul Scholes: Ireland need Jack Grealish more but England is a higher level
Zip it Scholesy!
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has added his two cents to Jack Grealish's international dilemma by claiming that "England is where he will play at the higher level".
The debate over Grealish's international future has instensified this week following his star turn in Aston Villa's FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool at the weekend.
Scholes has joined in in his column in The Independent today and safe to say it doesn't make for particularly pleasant reading for Irish fans.
Having praised Grealish's qualities as a player without getting carried away - "Let’s not go overboard yet. There are the makings of a decent player there" - Scholes questioned Grealish's decision to take time off from international football and offered his own view on the choice that the 19-year old has to make.
"What I don’t understand is why he has taken time off from international football," Scholes writes.
"You need to start playing international football first before you think about taking time off. I guess it is about giving himself time to choose between Ireland and England.
"The Republic will always need him more but England is where he will play at the higher level. The fact that he is prepared to take his time probably tells you he is a confident boy."
Scholes also revisited the issue of his eligibility for both Ireland and Northern Ireland, but admitted that the thought of playing for anyone but England was something he never even considered.
"I had the same options as Jack Grealish when it came to international football, in fact I could have played for Northern Ireland as well as the Republic," Scholes added.
"On my mum Marie’s side, my Nana was from the Republic of Ireland and my Granddad was from the north.
"Lots of families in Manchester have strong Irish connections but it never occurred to me to play for anyone other than England."