Jack Grealish's relationship with Gareth Southgate has been compared to the "friction" that existed between Gary Lineker and Graham Taylor.

Grealish was a surprise omission from Southgate's final squad for Euro 2024. The Manchester City star has had a disappointing season and barely featured for Pep Guardiola during the back end of the campaign.

However, he was still expected to be on the plane to Germany and at least be used as an impact player from the bench. Southgate has gone in a different direction though, selecting the likes of Anthony Gordon and Eberechi Eze instead.

Former England striker Alan Smith reckons there is an uneasy relationship between Southgate and Grealish, which may have led to the decision. "I was surprised by the Grealish decision," Smith told Gambling Zone. "He came on and set up that goal for Alexander-Arnold with a lovely pass against Bosnia.

"I don’t think that Southgate and Grealish have ever been natural bedfellows. It took Southgate a while to come around to picking Grealish in the squad and giving him a chance. That can happen sometimes with managers."

The situation reminds Smith of the uncomfortable relationship between Lineker and Taylor, who infamously subbed off the talismanic striker during England’s must-win group decider against Sweden at Euro 92.

With the match locked at 1-1 just after the hour mark, Lineker, who had 48 goals for his country, was withdrawn and replaced by Smith. England went on to lose 2-1, crashing out of the tournament with just two points. It proved to be Lineker’s final match for the Three Lions.

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“I always remember Graham Taylor and Gary Lineker, there was always a little bit of friction there,” said Smith. “Obviously, Grealish hasn't had the best of seasons. He's not been in the City team week in, week out in the way that he was in the treble season.

“He's had injuries, but even so, he's got that little bit of something. Maybe Anthony Gordon’s form has seen off Grealish, Eze as well. But I was surprised that Grealish hasn't been picked.”

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