The Crystal Palace boss believes the midfielder’s improvement in recent seasons will make it hard for Gareth Southgate to leave him out of England’s squad.
Having recovered from a shin injury,Jack Grealish
returned toAston Villa
’s squad in their match againstEverton
on Thursday. The midfielder has been sidelined for three months and he is eager to regain his best form before the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament. In an interview ahead ofCrystal Palace
’s clash against Aston Villa on Sunday,
has backed Grealish to secure his place in England’s squad for the Euros.
"It was a fortune moment in time when Jack decided he would commit himself to England,"
Hodgson told a press conference.
"Since that time, he has matured and improved as a player enormously. There is no doubt a Jack Grealish when he is 100 per cent fit will be a hard guy to leave out of any squad, whether it is England or any other team in the world.
"I am disappointed for him he has had to deal with this injury situation, which is a major setback because it will put Gareth Southgate under that type of pressure I have experienced myself on a couple of occasions before tournaments.
"There is a player you really want but he has not been playing on a regular basis for a period of time and do you take a chance on his fitness or accept you have to leave him out?
"It is a tough, tough decision, but is Jack good enough and would he be a player in his best form that could make a difference to this England team? I think everyone would agree he could."
Grealish chose England over Ireland as his national team in September. Prior to his shin injury in September, Grealish was considered as one of the best Premier League players of the season. However, the unfortunate injury has cast doubts over his potential presence in England’s squad for Euro 2020.
"Jack Grealish has played an enormous part in their success and you talk about tailing off, it might be quite as simple as when you lose a player of his calibre, who is such a talisman for the team, often there is some sort of drop off.
"We've experienced it ourselves on so many occasions in the past. You don't take players of that quality out of teams and then expect them just to carry on scything their way through the league.
"But they've got a lot of very good players and a lot of players who have improved enormously this year, so they are going to be a tough nut to crack."
Back in 2016, Hodgson (who was England’s manager at the time) had to decide whether he would invite a player who had just recovered from a long-term injury.Jack Wilshere
was invited to the national team by Hudgson, but he failed to display his best form for England in their disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.
"I don't know that we had the wealth of choice in terms of attacking midfielders and forwards that Gareth has today,"
"So perhaps we erred even more on the side of caution not to leave behind a player with the natural ability and class that might be necessary for us, even though there was a risk that we wouldn't get him fully fit in time.
"But it's a conundrum, it's not scientific. There's no right or wrong answer. You either take the chance and it might work out well for you or it might not.
"You either back your belief in a player or you don't because you are too concerned that he's missed too much and not going to be fit.
"Certainly Gareth is very, very experienced now as a national team manager and is in a perfect position to make those decisions."