Jack Grealish believes that he is capable of playing alongside Harry Kane at Euro 2020 but admits that he can improve on running in behind defence to make the most of the England captain’s creativity.
Kane has shown a more inventive side to his game this season, dropping deeper to provide for runners like Son Heung-min, who he assisted nine times this season for the most prolific combination in the top flight.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker ended the campaign with more assists than any other top-flight player as well as being the top scorer.
Creativity is also part of Grealish’s game with Aston Villa but he believes that he can improve and build on his ability to run in behind and form a prolific partnership with Kane, and his manager Dean Smith is encouraging him to do just that.
“[Kane] got a lot of assists obviously but you’ve got to remember how many goals he got as well,” Grealish said.
“He’s an unbelievable player, every year he’s got better and better. I see what you mean though, obviously from some of the assists he’s had this season for the likes of Son and [Lucas] Moura there’ve been runners in behind.
“That’s another thing that I can work on, as soon as I finished the game the other night Dean Smith messaged me saying: ‘Well done but you needed to run in behind more’. So it’s something I still need to work on, to mix up my game.
“You look at Mason Mount, he’s so good with the ball coming to feet but he can also run in behind. So it’s probably something I can improve on and that I will try to improve on.”
Grealish has started as a No 10 in each of England’s warm-up fixtures, impressing against both Austria and Romania, but predominantly played on the left wing and cut inside under Smith at Villa this season.
The 25-year-old admitted on Wednesday that he is not sure of his best position but that he is happy to play wherever England manager Gareth Southgate sees fit.
“Obviously I like playing off the left, I obviously play there for Villa, I have a good relationship with Matt Targett who obviously helps me when I come inside and stuff,” he said.
“But I enjoy playing No 10. If you play me as a free midfielder between two No8s I like playing there, any of them really. As soon as I step on the pitch I’m at my happiest.”
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