Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Merson says Grealish could be sold and explains why £100m man has struggled

Jack Grealish Man City April 2022

Paul Merson thinks Manchester City could sell Jack Grealish and says he is not surprised by his struggles since his £100m move last summer.

Grealish signed for the champions from Aston Villa in August after City activated his £100m release clause. It’s the biggest deal in British football history, but Grealish has had a slow start to life with Pep Guardiola’s men.

Grealish has made 35 appearances, but only managed five goals. And from his 20 starts in the Premier League the 26-year-old has managed just two goals and two assists.

Those stats are in stark contrast to his numbers at Villa Park last season. Grealish started 24 Premier League games last term due to a shin injury, but he managed six goals and 12 assists.

But Merson, who is a “big fan” of Grealish, says he suspected the England star may struggle at The Etihad.

“I had a feeling it would be like this – I didn’t get the move to Man City,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column. “He’s a top player, I’m a big fan of Jack. I didn’t see it working really though. From the age of six he’s been taught to get the ball, dribble with it and beat everybody. From the age of six.

“Then he comes through the ranks, gets into the Villa team and keeps doing that, and then goes to a team that is all pass, pass, pass. 20 years he’s been taught one way and now he’s got to stop doing that and pass the ball. And it’s hard. It’s hard.

‘Now, he gets the ball and has to pass it’

“He’s been getting the ball, beating the world, and then do what you want Jack. Now, he gets the ball and has to pass it. He might turn round and say he’s loving every minute, but I think he’s finding it difficult at the moment.


“He’s got to keep playing a certain way, they want to pass and they all know what they’re doing. They have a plan, and he doesn’t play that way. He gets on the ball and he wants to beat people, now he’s got to change that at 25, 26 years of age.

“I don’t think he’s going to get used to doing it. I think they might sell him, I might be wrong. Maybe not this summer, but is the lad enjoying it? You’ve got to ask him.

“Pep is one of the best coaches in the world and he won’t want to be seen to be unable to change a player yet, so I think he’ll stay this summer, but Jack wants to play football. It’ll be interesting.”

Transfer value 

Grealish has a contract running until 2027 and Guardiola is unlikely to sanction a sale this summer.

Guardiola’s focus will be on landing a No 9 in the next transfer window and Grealish’s sale will not be at the forefront of City’s thinking.

The price tag on the attacker will also play a part with his value likely to have dipped under his £100m transfer fee. Transfermarkt claim Grealish’s value to be around the £72m mark following an underwhelming season to date.

Of course City have some big games to come and Grealish could well have a big say in City’s campaign.

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