England's creative midfielder Jack Grealish says he is thriving on the comparisons being made between him and one of the country's most audacious playmakers Paul Gascoigne.
"I thrive off those kind of comparisons (to Gascoigne)," Grealish told reporters after England eased to a 4-0 win over Iceland in their final Nations League group game on Wednesday.
"I love the way he played football with all the freedom and all the joy... I want to entertain people but I always want to be effective on the pitch like Gazza was too."
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Grealish, 25, burst onto the scene in the Premier League early in his career, but faced media scrutiny after a number of late night incidents.
He says he has matured since then and can handle the pressure that comes with his new-found England profile. He was voted man of the match on Wednesday.
"I think I'm now old enough and wise enough to handle that (pressure) now," the Aston Villa player said.
As you get older, you learn you are a hero to a lot of people and you are a role model ... I've got to take it in my stride, and I'm just loving my life.
Jack Grealish simply loves comparisons to Gazza
FODEN ENJOYS REDEMPTION V ICELAND
Phil Foden said he was happy and relieved to repay manager Gareth Southgate's trust in him with two goals against Iceland on Wednesday, two months after breaching Covid-19 protocols following the reverse fixture.
Foden and Mason Greenwood allegedly met women in their hotel room after a Nations League win in Reykjavik and were sent home while the rest of the squad travelled to Denmark for their next game.
But 20-year-old Foden returned to the England fold and made his first appearance since the incident with two well-taken goals and an assist in the 4-0 win over 10-man Iceland in the Nations League at Wembley.
"That was one of the hardest moments of my life. That's when you need the trust of your managers," Foden said in a post-match interview.
"I have a lot of respect for Gareth for playing me tonight and trusting me, I'm happy to repay him with the goals. I was just determined to get back and do as well as I can. I was a little bit nervous at the start but I got used to it."
Southgate said he was pleased for Foden after he scored his first goals for England and praised the Manchester City midfielder's fortitude in bouncing back.
"To have the experience he had in September was really tough for a youngster. We all make mistakes, it was a difficult situation to be in," Southgate said.
"You're walking back through the door and looking at everyone's faces and you know the last time you saw them it was complicated. It took him a few days to settle into the camp and start to smile and relax a bit more.
We know what he's capable of doing. He's one of a few that are going to be very exciting over the next few years for England.
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