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England will be building team around Sancho and Grealish soon, says Ince

08:00 GMT 25/03/2020
Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho
Gareth Southgate's England squad are currently experiencing an injury crisis but should be at full strength once football comes back

The delay of Euro 2020 until 2021 could help England, according to former captain Paul Ince, and he is expecting manager Gareth Southgate to build the team around Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish next year.

Sancho has produced an incredible 14 goals and 15 assists in 21 Bundesliga starts this season, as well as earning 11 England caps to this point.

Grealish is still to make his debut for the Three Lions but he has proven to be one of the Premier League's most dangerous attackers this season, leading to a mooted summer transfer to Manchester United.

Ince believes that Grealish will capture the imagination in an England shirt and that he is more exciting than either Chelsea's Mason Mount or Leicester City's James Maddison both of whom have already earned senior call-ups.

"I like Grealish; I really like him. When he kicks a ball, he gets people off their feet. You always think he will do something special," Paddy Power Ambassador Ince told Goal. "I really like him from that point of view.

"Maddison, yes, he is good too. Mason Mount could be exciting. He is getting good game time at Chelsea. If I had to pick one though it would be Grealish because I think he gives you a little bit more. He runs with the ball and travels with the ball.

"Grealish is the one who excites me and who I think can be a fan hero. He can be that man. He could be the one. I don’t want to draw parallels with [Paul] Gascoigne but I think the way he plays could have that impact on the imagination. It is something to look forward to. England have a lot of potentially great players. It is a bright three or four years."

Ince went onto say that Sancho and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford may be the main men up front when the European Championship comes around.

"I think you have to look at Sancho. I have watched him a lot this year at Dortmund. This kid is going to be a great player. I can see it already," he continued.

"You have to look to build the England team around him. Rashford is great. Maybe with Rashford and Sancho up top then I could be excited."

Although the decision to postpone the tournament was beyond football due to the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, Ince thinks the side-effects could benefit England by 2021.

He said: "You are always concerned trying to rush players back - Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford. There’s Jordan Pickford’s mistakes in goal.

"Maybe it could end up being ideal for England after getting there. Their star player can be in better shape. Regardless, it is the way it is. To play it next year is the right thing to do and I think it just allows people not to make rash decisions about rushing people back to be fit for the Euros.

"We can take our time so come next season they are ready to go. It is a shame not to have it but it is the right decision to delay it."

Sancho's decision to leave Manchester City for Dortmund for £8 million in 2017 appears to have helped him become one of the most sought-after players ahead of the upcoming transfer window.

The youngster now has Manchester United and Chelsea among the clubs interested in signing him. After making a move abroad to Inter during the 1990s, Ince thinks that the opportunities for English players to go abroad are becoming ever easier with more players now taking that leap.

"It is different now and it is good to see players going to different countries and learning their trade," he concluded. "Looking at the Italian league, there’s a resurgence. When I went there it was the best league in the world. Best players, managers and money.

"Then the Premier League came up and it kind of fell flat on its face. Now, I see a resurgence from Serie A. Players want to play there and crowds go up. It is easier for our players to move abroad because it is so cosmopolitan.

"When I went to Inter there were no English players, it was mostly Italian players, I had to learn the language and get involved in the culture. Players go to clubs and they can speak English. We got lazy for a period because we didn’t want to learn a new language.

"Now it isn’t a scary thing because people speak English. It is great for our young players who go out there and do it. Like Sancho, they learn a different football, way of life and then they become a man. It can help you on the international stage as well.

"You can deal with things better from playing abroad in different games under different types of managers."