Roy Keane has lauded Aston Villa star Jack Grealish after he starred for England on Sunday night.
The Three Lions lost 2-0 to Belgium, who are ranked no.1 in the world, but Grealish was the best player on the pitch.
Keane says that Grealish has improved markedly in the last six months and it’s no surprise Manchester United were linked with the player.
Their pursuit ultimately ended in failure, with their long-time rumoured back-up option Grealish also staying put with his current club.
A fee rumoured to be in the region of £80m had been touted as required to secure his exit from Villa Park.
No such offer materialised, however, with Grealish reaffirming his loyalty to his boyhood club when putting pen to paper on a fresh contract in mid-September.
And he has gone from strength to strength a Villa Park and England boss Gareth Southgate has admitted he has climbed up the pecking order for England.
Keane worked with Grealish at Villa and it seems clear the former Man Utd captain is a big fan of the 25-year-old.
“He takes risks. What I love about Jack – and I worked with him at Aston Villa – is his courage,” Keane told ITV, as cited by the Metro.
“Wanting the ball in tight areas, dealing with the ball, getting you up the pitch, winning free-kicks, courage, he’s quicker than you think.
“The way he’s improved over the past six months has been fantastic. We keep talking about England winning something or getting to the next level, I think they need a player like Jack to do that. He was outstanding.”
Grealish stood up to test
Grealish has surely put himself in serious contention for a place in the squad at next summer’s Euros.
“I think, firstly as a person, since he’s come into the camp he’s impressed us with his approach,” Southgate said.
“He’s been curious to find out what we’re looking for from him. He’s taken that on board with these performances and in training.
“He transferred his club performances into international football tonight against a top-level opponent, so we couldn’t have been happier with what he did.
“He should be really proud of his performance and, yeah, as I say, I think he really stood up against as tough an opposition as you’re going to face.”