Grealish and Palmer named in England U21 squad

Date published: Thursday 12th May 2016 4:21

Jack Grealish: First call-up for England Under-21s

Jack Grealish has received a first England Under-21s call-up since turning his back on the Republic of Ireland.

A difficult season for rudderless – and now relegated – Aston Villa has seen the 20-year-old’s star dim somewhat since in September declaring he was switching his allegiance to the country of his birth.

Grealish had represented Ireland up to Under-21s level but will now continue his international career with Gareth Southgate’s Young Lions after FIFA cleared the switch in March.

The Villa midfielder has been selected as part of the 20-man group heading to France for next week’s Toulon tournament, which will pit England Under-21s against Portugal, Guinea, Paraguay and Japan in their initial group games.

Chelsea’s Kasey Palmer, like Grealish, has been called-up by the Under-21s for the first time and joins an experienced squad, with 12 of those selected having played at Toulon either last year or the summer before.

A number of players are unavailable due to involvement in the FA Cup final, Europa League final or Championship play-offs, but the likes of Calum Chambers, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse have been included.

Much of the focus will be on Grealish, though, after a difficult campaign at Villa, where he has only made made six appearances in 2016.

The 20-year-old was sent to train with the club Under-21s by former manager Remi Garde in November after being pictured partying in a Manchester nightclub hours after a 4-0 defeat at Everton.

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