Cesc Fabregas sends message to Jack Grealish ahead of England vs Scotland


Fabregas has told Grealish to be patient (Picture: Getty)

Cesc Fabregas has told Jack Grealish to be ready to grasp whatever opportunity he gets with England with both hands as he looks to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s starting XI.

Grealish, the Aston Villa captain, was an unused substitute in England’s 1-0 win over Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener but will hope to be involved on Friday night against Scotland.

The playmaker was one of the standout performers in the Premier League last season and he impressed for his country in the two friendlies against Austria and Romania before the Croatia match.

However, he was left on the bench against Croatia – with Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling playing either side of Harry Kane in attack.

Fabregas, the former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder, thinks that Grealish can still have a big impact from the bench during the tournament and he pointed to his own experience when playing for Spain as an example of how one can force their way into the starting XI.

‘In the 2008 European Championships, I started the tournament as, let’s say, Spain’s number 12 player. I was always the first change, the player to come off the bench,’ Fabregas wrote in his Telegraph column.

Grealish didn’t get off the bench against Croatia (Picture: AMA/Getty)

‘My job to start with was to make an impact and, actually, I enjoyed it knowing that I’d usually get my chance in the 55th or 60th minute trying to make a difference and this is something that I believe Jack Grealish or Jadon Sancho could do for England at this tournament.

‘Substitutes can be so, so important at this point in the season and in these short tournaments. I can tell you and I would say the same to Grealish or Sancho or whoever else, that playing 30 minutes in tournaments like this you can be much more important than someone who plays from the start.

‘I know that for sure because I experienced it myself. In half-an-hour you can kill a game and everyone can be talking more about you and how you played for 15 minutes or whatever than the guy that started from the beginning. And, of course, in 2008 I ended up starting the final and winning.

‘It slowly built up for me and it can be like this for Grealish or another one of the England players. You need to be ready at any moment, to either play, when you have been on the bench, or to come off the bench and make an impact.’

Fabregas also suggested that Grealish could demonstrate his worth to the world’s biggest clubs if he can make an impact off the bench.

‘In the specific case of Grealish, this has been his first big season where everyone outside Aston Villa talks about him,’ he added.

Fabregas says Grealish can force his way into the team (Picture: Eurasia Sport Images/Getty)

‘I don’t know what his future will be, but there could potentially be a big move for him, so he needs to show he is ready for any situation.

‘If he did move to a Manchester City or Manchester United, nobody will guarantee that Jack Grealish will start every single game and these kinds of clubs will be looking to see that he is ready to compete.

‘It’s similar for Sancho, even though he was not in the squad for the first game, and these players like him and Grealish can have very important tournaments for England, even if it is off the bench to start with.’

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