Danny Mills has urged England fans to “calm down” over Jack Grealish after his recent impressive performances have seen him labelled “world class”.
Grealish has been the leading player for Aston Villa over the last few seasons, while his recent displays for the Three Lions have really caught the eye.
England’s loss against Belgium on Sunday means that qualification from Group A2 is beyond England heading into Wednesday’s Wembley encounter with relegated Iceland.
Grealish may well be rested for that match having starred from the outset against the Republic of Ireland and Belgium, but the Aston Villa playmaker must have surely sealed his spot at next summer’s European Championship.
But Mills has urged caution over Grealish with many supporters building the midfielder up as “world class”.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Mills said: “It was put out there that he is one of the best midfielder players in the world again. Yes he played well, he’s a fantastic player, he’s superb and has an awful lot of talent. But let’s just calm down with the whole hype a little bit.
“This is not Lionel Messi that we’re talking about, this is not Cristiano Ronaldo, that is scoring untold amount of goals. He played well, that’s absolutely fine.
“How many times have we done this for England? Once upon a time, everyone’s hopes were on Gazza [Paul Gascoigne] and then Jack Wilshere came along and ‘we’ve got to put all our eggs in that basket, we’ve got to build a team around him’. It was Wayne Rooney before that.
“Players have moments where they have a couple of seasons of great form. You can’t build your team around one player. When you talk about world-class players, and I keep hearing ‘Jack Grealish is a world-class player’. Not yet he’s not.
“Maybe he’s got potential. What is he now? 25? 26? He’s got a couple of years to prove that and maybe get anywhere near that bracket.
“When you look at the likes of the players that we had, Frank Lampard, what he did over the course of ten seasons. Steven Gerrard, what he did over the course of that time. Paul Scholes. Look at what they achieved, look at what they won, all those types of things.
“Luka Modric when he was at Tottenham and then went on to be. They’re world-class players. We see two or three good performances and everyone just piles in and gets carried away with it. ‘Oh wow, this is amazing.’ Sometimes we have to have a bit of a reality check.”
Just about all of the greatest uncapped Premier League players ever were pursued by England. And only four of them were English.