Manchester City attacker Jack Grealish has hit back at continued criticism from Liverpool legend Graeme Souness, stating ‘I don’t know what his problem is with me’.
The most expensive English footballer in history feels Sky Sports pundit Souness is a constant source of criticism, but claims ‘he just wants to be friends with youse all’ in the media.
The City star admits he is on a pedestal due to his £100million transfer fee. However, he states he would much sooner take advice from Pep Guardiola than Souness.
The 27-year-old, speaking ahead of England’s Nations League games against Italy and Germany, said: “I don’t know what his problem is with me. He always says stuff about me.
“It is difficult [to ignore] when he’s on Sky Sports and it’s everywhere around the training ground.
“He was a great player and won a lot but I don’t know what problem he’s got.
“He’s said a lot of stuff about me not moving the ball quicker but when I’m playing for a manager like Pep Guardiola and he’s telling me to keep the ball as much as I can and have balls to take it everywhere, that’s what I’ll try to do.
“I always watch my games back and I’m very critical of myself.
“I know that there were games, especially in the second half of last season, where I wasn’t at my best at all.
“I’ll always have people on my back. When I signed for City and the price that came with it, I knew it wasn’t going to all be laughs, unless I started the way Erling Haaland did. That’s the only way I wouldn’t get caned!”
Grealish, who is renowned for laddish behaviour, was also criticised for partying in Las Vegas and Ibiza over the summer.
But he insists he came back for pre-season fitter than ever, only to then suffer an injury against Bournemouth.
Grealish talks up his professionalism
There have even been rumours about the player looking at a potential exit in 2023.
However, Grealish added: “I’m just like a normal kid. I feel like I was just doing what a lot of other footballers do. But sometimes I get more attention when I’m on holiday in Ibiza or Vegas.
“After that, I was putting up photos of me working. Don’t know if a lot of people spoke about that.
“I tried to come back as fit as possible and I felt I did.
“I know how professional I actually am.”
Grealish will be hoping to feature heavily in England’s games on Friday and Monday evening before City return to action.
The player admits, however, that is form has not been as good as it should be.
He added: “I probably haven’t been playing at the top of my game since I moved at the start of last season but I think I’ve shown glimpses.”
Pep Guardiola’s City side are currently second in the table, a point behind surprise leaders Arsenal.
Their next Premier League outing is the small matter of a Manchester derby at The Etihad on October 2.