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Tim Sherwood has weighed in on the Jack Grealish England-v-Ireland debate

The 19-year-old shone as Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

Tim Sherwood says it's
Tim Sherwood says it's "up to Jack to decide where he wants to go".
Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth

ASTON VILLA MANAGER Tim Sherwood has told FA Cup star Jack Grealish to forget about his international future for the time being and concentrate on his club commitments.

Grealish, 19, shone as Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday, setting up a May 30 showdown with holders Arsenal, and now finds himself at the centre of a tug-of-war between England and Ireland.

Though Birmingham-born, Grealish qualifies to play for Ireland through his family. He has represented Ireland at under-21 level, but is also thought to be on the radar of England Under-21 coach Gareth Southgate.

“It’s up to Jack where he wants to go. It’s purely up to him,” Sherwood told talkSPORT radio.

“What I’ve got to do is make sure he’s got that decision to make. He must be doing something right for Aston Villa if he’s got those options. That’s my priority.

“Then it’s up to Jack to decide where he wants to go. I had the same situation with (Tottenham Hotspur midfielder) Nabil Bentaleb, who could have played for France, but decided to pick Algeria.

“I did have a chat with him and he asked me what to do. I just said, ‘You’ve got to go with your heart. Do you think you’re French, or Algerian?’

“That’s the decision he had to make and now Jack has got to make that decision. He has to play a few more times for Aston Villa before he needs to make that decision.”

Grealish, a graduate of Villa’s youth academy, has been capped by Ireland at under-17, under-18 and under-21 level and was named Ireland’s Under-21 Player of the Year last month.

But until he has played in a competitive international for the Ireland senior team, he will still be able to transfer his allegiances to England.

- © AFP, 2015

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