(Reuters) – Jack Grealish has welcomed comparisons to former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne after impressing on his first international start on Thursday.
Grealish, 25, was named man of the match in the 3-0 victory over Wales at Wembley, with his style of play drawing comparisons to Gascoigne, who won 57 England caps and starred at the 1990 World Cup.
“I don’t really see myself as him but I’d love to be like him, the way that he played football,” Aston Villa midfielder Grealish told British media.
“I would love to get compared to Gazza. I think he is an absolute icon. He, along with Wayne Rooney, was probably one of the greatest England players over the last 30 years.
“There have been a load but if they were the top two, Gazza would be my first.”
With Euro 2020 on the horizon, Grealish is hoping to cement his spot in Gareth Southgate’s England side.
“I want to be in the squad now for the next, however long – five, six years – and I want to have a long England career and get many caps,” he said.
England face Belgium in the Nations League on Sunday followed by Denmark on Wednesday.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin