GARETH SOUTHGATE will give Jack Grealish the chance to start his third England game in six days.
The Aston Villa midfielder, who impressed in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat in Belgium, now has a golden opportunity to become an established member of the side.
And that is a far cry from the start of the season when the 25-year-old’s international hopes looked doomed.
Before making a decision on his patched-up team for tomorrow’s visit of Iceland, manager Southgate will assess the fitness levels of all his players.
He said: “Jack put in a huge shift for the team against Belgium and although his club haven’t had the sort of schedule other clubs have, we still have to make sure we are not taking any chances.
“So if he reports fine, then of course we would like to give him the opportunity to keep going.”
The Belgium match was the best of the three performances he has had against top-level opponents
Southgate was asked whether Grealish’s exciting impact on the England team reminded him of Paul Gascoigne’s explosive arrival ahead of Italia 90.
The England boss added: “I think he has to focus on what he has done.
“He has impressed us so much with the way he has been with the group, training, taking on board tactical information.
“None of that is a given. To come into a new group of players, no matter what your quality is, is not an easy thing.
“The Belgium match was the best of the three performances he has had against top-level opponents.
“As I said, I am really pleased with him. He should be delighted. It is something to build on.”
Despite having scored 32 times for his country, skipper Harry Kane, 27, has not found the net in his last five internationals.
But Southgate said: “I am not concerned about that at all.
“If we get him in the right areas and create as we need to, then Harry will finish chances.”
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