England take on Hungary in a World Cup qualifier this evening in their first game since the heartbreaking Euro 2020 final - kicking off in the Hungarian capital at 19:45.
Their trip to the Puskas Stadium in Budapest will be the first of three fixtures over the next week, as they take on Andorra on Sunday evening, followed by Poland next Wednesday.
Gareth Southgate’s side sit top of their qualifying group having already beaten San Marino, Albania and Poland earlier in the year and will be desperate to get one step closer to the Qatar World Cup after a disappointing summer.
One England star that benefited from the Three Lions’ Euros tournament is Jack Grealish, who became a fans’ favourite despite his lack of game time.
Despite a stellar season for Aston Villa, there was questions raised as to whether the midfielder would actually make it into Southgate’s squad and even when he did he only played 172 minutes of England’s tournament.
Despite Grealish’s regular position on the bench, his performances earned him a move to Premier League champions Manchester City for a record-breaking fee of £100 million.
It’s been the ‘elephant in the room’ for years that those who play for the ‘Big Six’ clubs are more likely to get into the England squad (or so many fans think), and while Gareth Southgate has very much broken the mould with inclusions of players like Ben White, Tyrone Mings and Jude Bellingham, it still makes you wonder whether Grealish’s move to Man City will have much of an impact on his minutes in an England shirt.
The 25-year-old could start his first game for the national team tonight since his arrival in Manchester and since he started from the bench in the Euro final against Italy.
Will we see more of Grealish in this starting XI now? Or will it all depend on how he performs under Pep Guardiola?
Ignoring potential ‘bias’ on big name players in the England squad, Jack Grealish will be surrounded by top quality footballers at the Etihad Stadium, under one of the best managers in the world and will be playing on a much bigger stage at the top end of the table and in the Champions League. Naturally he will improve and so catch the eye of Southgate more often ahead of the World Cup next year.
Jack Grealish has previously spoken to ITV about his move to the champions and how it may impact his future with the national team.
"To be playing for England in the biggest games, I need to play in the biggest games at club level so that should be the Champions League - all them type of games,” Grealish said.
“You see the likes of Phil [Foden] playing in the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final and you can really see that helped his England career as well.”
Grealish heads into tonight’s international fixture having scored one and assist another in three appearances for Man City so far this season.
He so far hasn’t folded under the pressure of his price-tag and we shall see over the next week as to whether it has any effect on his England performance too.