Jack Grealish made 185 league appearances for Aston Villa during his time at the club, scoring 29 and racking up numerous individual awards for his performances
Should Grealish feel bad over leaving Villa for City?
Manchester City’s record signing Jack Grealish has previously been compared to England legend Paul Gascoigne by a striker he will be lining up against next season.
On Thursday evening City announced that the 25-year-old was their new no. 10, joining from Aston Villa for £100m which makes him the most expensive English player in football history.
The attacking midfielder/winger spent 16 years at his boyhood club and helped them to promotion in 2018/19, with his consistently outstanding performances helping the club confirm themselves as a Premier League side.
After impressing at Euro 2020, mainly off of the bench, many fans felt it was only a matter of time before Grealish took the step up and began playing Champions League football.
His flair, passion and desire to get on the ball and create an opening has earned the attacker many high-profile comparisons, with Watford striker Troy Deeney comparing him to Paul Gascoigne.
In an interview with talkSport last November, Deeney said: “Jack is absolutely fearless. He’ll want the ball in any situation, it doesn’t matter who he’s playing against, he wants it. He wants to drive and impose himself on the game.
“I’ve said it previously and got laughed at – he’s the closest thing to Gascoigne, in my opinion.”
Who was better, Grealish or prime Gascoigne? Comment below
Gascoigne is often labelled as one of the most naturally-gifted players in football history, and Deeney sees that as one of the greatest similarities between the two players.
He continued: “We haven’t seen that maverick, that guy who will turn a game on its head and literally wants the ball anywhere.”
It remains to be seen how Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will utilise Grealish’s skillset, the Englishman spent last seen out wide on the left but has previously played down the middle behind a central striker.
With such strength in depth at City, Guardiola will have to manage a lot of top talent as well as big personalities.
He already had the likes of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ferran Torres, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden all to squeeze into one eleven initially, so adding a record-signing to that mix is only going to worsen the Spanish manager’s headache.
The boss also has to consider whether he is willing to spend big in this transfer window again to bring wantaway English striker Harry Kane to the Etihad Stadium.
The Spurs striker has not attended pre-season training since England lost on penalties in the Euro 2020 final, instead, going on an extended family holiday which means he is likely to miss the start of the season.
It is believed that this rebellion is in order an attempt to push owner Daniel Levy towards letting him leave north London so that he can win trophies.
According to The Sun, it will take £160m to persuade Levy to let him go, making the striker one of the most expensive players of all time.
However, now that Messi has become available after his contract talks with Barcelona have broken down, Guardiola may turn his attention to reuniting with the Argentinian attacker.
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