England star Jack Grealish has played down talk of a rivalry with Chelsea’s Mason Mount.
Gareth Southgate has come under fire from supporters in recent weeks for opting to feature Mount in midfield rather than the Aston Villa skipper, who has registered nine goal contributions in just seven Premier League appearances.
However, both players were selected to start Thursday evening’s comfortable win over the Republic of Ireland at Wembley, with Grealish telling ITV Sport after the final whistle that he does not believe they are in direct competition with each other.
“I love Mason,” he said. “It’s a bit annoying actually because he probably gets a little bit of stick at times from it, but I’ve always been close with Mason, I think he’s an absolutely terrific player.
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“I don’t even think we’re really fighting for the same spot to be honest.
“Like I said, I think Mason’s underrated and he deserves all the credit he gets. I think people that know about football will understand just how good he is.”
Goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin secured a 3-0 victory for the Three Lions ahead of next week’s Nations League clash with Iceland.
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