Jack Grealish admits he is glad he turned his back on Ireland for England - despite being made to wait for his big chance with Gareth Southgate's men.

The Aston Villa star has Irish grandparents and pledged his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland through the age groups.

But he changed his mind at the age of 19 and committed himself to England instead, without knowing it would be five years before getting his first call up.

Grealish, who got the call from Southgate while celebrating his sister's 17th birthday at home surrounded by all his family, said: "I've had a bit of an unusual career.

"I was 19 when I said that I would like to change from Ireland to England, and at the time I didn't think it would take five years.

"I had a chat with my parents, with Roy Hodgson who was the manager at the time, but you know it didn't happen for certain reasons.

The midfielder wants a Champions League challenge, which could see him head to Old Trafford in a £75m deal
Grealish could be about to get his first England cap

"We ended up getting relegated that season and I've been in the Championship for three years, so it's just a relief it's finally come and hopefully I can be here to stay.

"Since I was a kid, I've felt like I'm English.

"My family are English, it was just my grandparents who are Irish and when I was a young kid I was playing for Ireland because that's what felt right.

"It felt fun, if anything, but then as I got older, I felt English, I felt like I could get into the England team, and get into the senior team, and now here I am."

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Meanwhile, Southgate has admitted he has no regrets over dropping Harry Maguire from the squad following his Mykonos nightmare.

He said: "We've talked right the way through very openly and honestly, and, of course, Harry would prefer to be here with the team.

"He wants to play football and he wants to be part of it.

Gareth Southgate's England face Iceland

"But I think with everything that's gone on in his life in the last couple of weeks, it was so important that he's been able to let everything just calm down.

"He now has the chance to re-energise, get back to training with his club and then all being well he'll be with us in October.

"We will absolutely look to get him involved in October."