Collymore calls for Gomez & Grealish to get England chance in Euro 2020 qualifiers

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The ex-Three Lions striker feels promising talents on the books of two of his former clubs can bring much-needed stability and creativity to the fold

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez and Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish can help to solve the problems which continue to hold England back, claims Stan Collymore.

The Three Lions are currently reflecting on another semi-final setback on the international stage.

Having reached the last four of the 2018 World Cup, Gareth Southgate’s side progressed to the same point of the inaugural Nations League.

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They were, however, to come unstuck against the Netherlands, with long-standing frailties once again being exposed.

England are seeking to embrace a ball-playing philosophy that sees them build from the back, but costly mistakes and a perceived lack of midfield creativity are stunting their progress.

Former Three Lions striker Collymore believes he has a solution, telling The Mirror: “John Stones in central defence made two dreadful errors in the semi-final against Holland.

“And if Joe Gomez does well in pre-season or early next season then I’d love to see the Liverpool youngster get a chance alongside Harry Maguire in the Euro qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo in September.

“The great thing about Gomez is that he can play at full-back or centrally.

Joe Gomez Liverpool 2018-19

“And if he gets to play alongside Virgil van Dijk for the Reds then we can guarantee that, sooner rather than later, he’ll be pushing Stones for his place.

“Gomez perhaps isn’t the footballing centre-half that Stones is, but you know he’s not going to be trying Cruyff turns in his own box.

“He’s a good, solid, mobile, footballing defender who would work quite well alongside Maguire.”

Collymore added: “I was out in Portugal for the game against the Dutch and plenty of England fans said the same thing: ‘Oh, for a creative midfielder’.

We’ve plenty of options in central midfield with Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Declan Rice - who can also play in central defence - Ross Barkley and Dele Alli.

“But we still don’t quite seem to have someone who can open up the best teams in the international game.

“So I’m going to stick Jack Grealish into the mix now he’s back in the Premier League, because here’s a man who gets the ball, drifts past people and plays little passes with the outside of the foot that can bamboozle opponents.

“A lot will of course depend on how Aston Villa take to top-flight football again - you only have to look at the way Fulham’s struggles impacted on Ryan Sessegnon to know that.

“But if Villa do well then he could be given an opportunity because he’s one of those players who will identify little pockets around the pitch and exploit them.

“With Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane in front of him, the prospect of Grealish could be very exciting for England.”

Grealish, who is now 23 years of age, is yet to make a senior England squad.

He has previously won seven caps at U-21 level, having switched international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.

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