Rodgers: "I think England are very fortunate to have Jack's talent. I've seen the improvements in him as he's grown as a young player"
Saturday 17 October 2020 11:00, UK
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has expressed his admiration for Jack Grealish, whose talent he feels England are "very fortunate" to be able to call upon.
Having been superb in Aston Villa's remarkable 7-2 victory over Liverpool on October 4, Grealish subsequently impressed for England in the 3-0 friendly win against Wales four days later.
He was then an unused substitute for the two Nations League games that followed, the 2-1 victory over Belgium and 1-0 loss to Denmark, something that has been questioned by pundits and supporters.
Giving his view on Grealish ahead of Leicester hosting Villa on Sunday, Rodgers said: "England have so many good players.
"But I think England are very fortunate to have Jack's talent. I've seen the improvements in him as he's grown as a young player.
"His personality on the field is absolutely fantastic. He's got a real in-built brain for football.
"When he carries the ball, his awareness of his space really shows me the talent he is. He understands where space is, he gets tackled a lot, he stays on the ball a bit longer than other people and draws fouls but also draws people out of position. His weight of pass is exceptional.
"He's a marvellous player and one of a number of players with England that are very talented. He's a bit like James (Maddison, the Leicester midfielder), although they are not the same position."
The thrashing of Premier League champions Liverpool made it nine points from a possible nine this season so far for Dean Smith's Villa.
Leicester also had maximum points after three games, having won 3-0 at West Brom, beaten Burnley 4-2 and stunned Manchester City 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium, before losing 3-0 at home to West Ham last time out.
Rodgers, whose side finished fifth last term, said: "The West Ham game was another lesson for us in the Premier League where if you are just off your level, you can lose.
"But over the course of the four games, there have been so many positives for us.
"You get bumps along the way, and it's how you respond to that. I don't think we saw that performance (against West Ham) coming. I know we're bitterly disappointed with it afterwards.
"It was hard because the players then go away on international duty. But we've regrouped again, and we'll look to get back to the level.
"We've shown lots of potential, but can we get that consistency into our game? That's a big aim for us this season."
Regarding Villa, he added: "They have players who can give you a problem if you are not at the top of your game. They scored seven [against Liverpool] and maybe felt they could have had got one or two more.
"It showed you've got to have that full concentration at this level or any team can punish you. No one sees the results coming - it was like us the week before at Manchester City. If you're not quite at the top of your game at this level, then you can come unstuck."
While the fit-again Maddison is available for Sunday, Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey have been ruled out by injuries, and Jonny Evans, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Praet are being assessed. Wesley Fofana could make his Foxes debut.
Leicester vs Aston Villa will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office; kick-off is at 7.15pm. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
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