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Jack Grealish and Mason Mount might be considered rivals when it comes to places in the England side, but there can be no doubt about how highly they rate one another.
Grealish has shone for England at Euro 2020, helping the Three Lions set up a semi-final showdown with Denmark in his first major tournament.
But his only start so far came against the Czech Republic when he was deployed in a central role behind Harry Kane while Mount was forced to isolate.
The Chelsea midfielder – along with Stamford Bridge teammate Ben Chilwell – was deemed to be a close contact of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who returned a positive Covid-19 test after the goalless draw against England at Wembley.
Grealish played a major role in the last 16 win against Germany, with the Aston Villa captain having a hand in both of England’s goals after coming off the bench while Mount remained an unused substitute.
Mount was restored to Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for the 4-0 drubbing of Ukraine in Saturday’s quarter-final in an attacking midfield position behind Kane while Grealish was left on the bench.
The pair have been labelled as Three Lions rivals in the past, but former Villa and England striker Darren Bent has made it clear that view is not shared by the players.
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Recalling a conversation he had with Grealish on talkSPORT, Bent said: “The way he (Grealish) kind of spoke about Mason was really nice to hear.
“He was saying ‘Benty, I’m telling you; he is so good. Not only in terms of the way he works, the way he presses, which he is very, very good at’.
“He said ‘it’s not just that, it’s the way he plays is so good’. Honestly, the way he was talking about it, he was beaming across his face.”
Grealish previously revealed he finds the incessant comparisons with Mount to be ‘annoying’, while the Chelsea playmaker has also played down suggestions of a rivalry between the duo.
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“I love watching him [Grealish] play as well,” Mount told Sky Sports in October. “He’s brilliant to be around. Obviously, we all know what he can do, what a brilliant player he is.
“I get on very well with Jack. He’s a brilliant player and, yes, we always want to play together.
“We have such a strong group with loads of top, top players. You always want to play with the best, and when you come away with England, you’re doing that.
“It means so much to come away and play with the likes of Jack and the top, top players in the group. You’re learning all the time. Sometimes when you come away, you don’t really know what kind of moves they make on the ball.
“You have to kind of learn about the players while you’re away training. You don’t get much time, but when you’re playing the games, you kind of have that connection, and I think me and Jack do definitely have that.”
This content was originally published here.