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Man City make £100m English star their top priority – Has Guardiola found his man?

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Jack Grealish of Villa in action during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Manchester City are interested in Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish. (GETTY Images)

Manchester City signing Jack Grealish would be a great move

According to a report by The Independent (h/t Express), Manchester City have made Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish their top transfer priority.

The 25-year-old English midfielder was linked to Manchester United in the past but it seems that Ole Gunnar Soljskaer has missed the chance to sign Jack Grealish as Machester City have taken the interest in Aston Villa’s star midfielder. (h/t Express)

Profile

Born in Birmingham in 1995, Jack Grealish has been Aston Villa through and through since childhood. Grealish spent 11 years in Villa’s youth academy and got the call-up to the senior side in 2012 as a 17-year-old. Grealish spent one year at third-division side Notts County where he made 39 appearances for them.

After the return from his loan spell in 2014, Grealish became a regular feature in Villa’s line-up. The English midfielder stuck with Villa when the club went down in 2016. After representing the Republic of Ireland at the youth level, Grealish opted to accept the call-up to England’s national team in 2015. (h/t transfermarkt)

Jack Grealish will provide Manchester City much needed depth down the left-hand side. (GETTY Images)
Jack Grealish will provide Manchester City much-needed depth down the left-hand side. (GETTY Images)

Grealish will fit well in the workhorse midfield of Manchester City

Often playing as a left-midfielder rather than an out-and-out winger, Grealish will offer Pep Guardiola solidity down the flanks. The Aston Villa captain has already racked up 5 goals and 6 assists in 9 appearances this season for his club.

In fact, Villa’s flying start to the season is largely down to Jack Grealish. The Villains have scored 19 goals this season in just 8 matches, which is 9 more than Guardiola’s side. Grealish alone has had a hand in 10 of those goals.

Winning over 10 duels per game this season, Grealish is no slouch off the ball too. Grealish’s menace in the final third can be reflected by the fact that he draws 4.5 fouls per game. His heatmap proves his industry. Apart from being a potent attacker, he is also quick to fall back and help his team regain defensive shape.

Pep Guardiola also lost German winger Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich this summer. While City don’t have a shortage of attackers, a natural left-winger like Sane would surely be missed. Grealish would plug this hole pretty well, and add more industry off the ball than Sane offered.

Jack Grealish has proven his worth this season to earn a move to Manchester City. (GETTY Images)
Jack Grealish has proven his worth this season to earn a move to Manchester City. (GETTY Images)

Jack Grealish can double up as a midfielder and also as a winger, the versatility that Guardiola will appreciate if he is to ever play a 4-2-3-1. Moreover, it would provide competition to Raheem Sterling, who has been the club’s sole starter down the left-hand side. Having made 195 appearances for Villa, Grealish is also not short of experience when it comes to playing at this level.

Verdict

Jack Grealish has a contract with Aston Villa that ends in the summer of 2025. Keeping that in mind, Guardiola will also be wary of the renewed £100m price tag that is being quoted.

Despite the apparent hurdles, a fee like that for a talented 25-year-old is not unconventional these days. Hence, if City were to act on their interest in the upcoming windows, it would be a very smart move from them. Grealish is just entering his prime and he could grow and become even better under a manager like Pep.

Written by Aniket Rai

An ordinary football fan, doing what he loves.

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