Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has been refreshingly honest about his confidence in England’s chances as the latter stages of Euro 2020 approach, describing it as ‘scary’ how good the six wide forwards in the squad are, including himself.
England face Ukraine in Rome for a place in the semi-finals back at Wembley against either a Czech Republic side they have already beaten at the tournament or Denmark.
Although defensive resilience has so far underpinned England’s progress in the competition – they haven’t conceded a goal in four games – the attacking quality at Gareth Southgate’s disposal has given the team a X-factor each time they have needed it.
Raheem Sterling has scored in all three England wins, while Grealish made a difference off the bench against Germany and Bukayo Saka has impressed in both of his appearances. The options for Southgate are so deep that Jadon Sancho, now a £73m player and the second most expensive Englishman of all time, has barely even made it onto the pitch yet.
“We have got six players who play either side of Harry Kane who, in reality, could play for most clubs in the world,” Grealish told the Daily Mail ahead of facing Ukraine.
“Myself, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka. That's scary how good us six are. That's not being big-headed or nothing. That is just the truth.”
England are bidding reach a first international since 1966 and, with the knockout bracket the way it is, have arguably already completed the hardest challenge in achieving that by beating Germany.
The last 16 win was England’s first knockout win against a German side in 55 long years and Grealish admitted that he re-watched the game that same night.
“I didn't get to sleep until 4am. So yeah, I just whacked the game on. Amazing, really. What a night. What it means has filtered through,” he explained.
“We knew that we were capable of doing that. I saw some people say it was an average Germany side. I don't think it was at all. Now we have to focus on the next challenge.”