Soccer

Villa starlet Grealish pledges international future to England

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26 : Jack Grealish of Aston Villa is challenged by Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 26, 2015 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26 : Jack Grealish of Aston Villa is challenged by Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 26, 2015 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has pledged his international future to England.

Grealish, who represented the Republic of Ireland at youth levels up to U21, could get an early call into the senior England set-up when Roy Hodgson names his next squad on Thursday.

The 20-year-old, who missed the start of the season with injury, is a possible inclusion in Hodgson's party for European Qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania next month.

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Hodgson is set to run the rule over a handful of international rookies with qualification for next summer's tournament in France already secured.

In a brief statement, Grealish said: "I have decided to give my allegiance to England.

"It was not an easy decision as Ireland has a special place with me through my family, however I have decided to represent my country of birth."

Former Villa team-mate Shay Given, now with Stoke City, said on Twitter: "Sad to see Jack Grealish has chosen to play for England and not us. Wish him well for the future. #BigTalent."