Jack Grealish has warned England’s remaining rivals at the Euros their firepower is “scary”. The England super-sub branded Harry Kane the “best player I have ever played with” and told Euro 2020 quarter-final opponents Ukraine that Gareth Southgate is sifting through an embarrassment of attacking riches ahead of Saturday night’s clash in Rome.
“You have got six players that play either side of Harry that, in reality, could play for most clubs in the world,” said Grealish.
“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.
“Gareth has all these attacking players that play week in, week out at their clubs. But he can’t play all six of us. He can’t play everyone.”
Despite Southgate’s cautious set-up and England’s modest tally of four goals in four games at the tournament, Grealish feels the side has the potency to unsettle any team.
But he cautioned against over-confidence after the win over Germany on Tuesday and predicted England will be a team with a target on their backs.
“It would be unbelievable, wouldn’t it a final at Wembley but there’s been so many games that you wouldn’t expect that have gone a different way this Euros so far,” he said.
“Honestly, I think people would probably want to beat us because of who we are as well.
“I feel we just need to take each game as it comes, because I do know that Saturday will be a tough, tough game.
“It’s our first game away from Wembley in this tournament. It’s going to be different.
“We were over the moon when we beat Germany but it’s time to shift our focus on to Saturday’s game and we did that the moment we came in.
“It’s a knockout game and Ukraine are a good side. They are not here for no reason.”
A dishevelled Grealish belatedly emerged at St George’s Park on Thursday with apologies for being an hour late. He had been taking an afternoon nap, a daily ritual.
“I try and get fans off their seats. I try and attack as much as possible and I think that’s what fans want to see. I know what I am good at. I try and be as positive as possible all the time, no matter who I am coming up against. Whether it’s the lowest ranked team or the highest,” he said.
“It’s obviously one of the best feelings ever when they’re calling for your name.
“It’s nice when Villa fans are doing it, but you kind of expect it because you are one of them. But when it’s England fans, it’s different. Honestly it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“I always try and play with a smile on my face because I’m doing what I love. But then again, I think if I wasn’t a footballer and I was just with my mates and stuff I would just love to be doing what they’re doing. I’d be traveling everywhere watching England, being in pubs and stuff. I’d f***ing love it.”
If he hadn’t made it as a footballer, he could have followed his dad into plastering – although that wouldn’t have been his preferred avenue.
“Club promoter in Tenerife. Or Ibiza. I would be getting everyone into the club!” he said.
Grealish switched back to fan mode after the win over Germany when he got back to England’s Staffordshire base late on Tuesday night.
“I didn’t sleep until 4. I can never sleep after games. I was just sitting in my room and luckily the game was back on my TV in the hotel so I just whacked it on. I watched the whole lot,” he said.
“I saw some people say Germany it was an average Germany side. I don’t think it was at all. They had brilliant players all over the pitch.
“It was unbelievable in the dressing room. It was obviously good vibes as you can expect.”
The show rolls on to Rome with England strong, confident and united.
“It’s like a group of friends playing together,” said the Aston Villa captain. “You have rivalries on a Saturday and then you come here and people are getting on like a house on fire. I didn’t think I would ever be hugging a Blue in Jude (Bellingham).”