Kyle Walker has defended Manchester City teammate Jack Grealish by sending a reminder of what the summer signing is all about.
Grealish joined Man City in the summer in a club-record transfer after they activated his £100m release clause. It thus brought an end to his lengthy stint with Aston Villa, where he was captain.
Many have felt Grealish has been capable of the step up to a side of Champions League calibre for a while. He is now finally at that level, although it is taking time for him to prove his value.
The attacking midfielder has not scored for City since mid-September, when he netted against RB Leipzig on his Champions League debut.
Grealish should be back on the international stage on Wednesday, when City host Club Brugge on matchday four of the group stage.
At City’s press conference to preview the match, full-back Kyle Walker was asked about his teammate for club and country. He revealed that Grealish has been performing to a high standard in training and it does not matter too much that his goal and assist tallies are down.
“We’ve all seen in the last few years what Jack can do,” Walker said.
“He’s come into a new team, new philosophy, different style and different players. People take time, people adapt in different ways.
“The talent’s there, he’s showing it day in, day out in training.
“I’ve had the pleasure to play with him at international level. The way he keeps the ball, attracts players, draw fouls, it’s a nightmare for defenders.
“It takes time, he’s not playing badly. Maybe not the same goals and assists he was getting at Villa but we share the load here.”
Walker looks ahead to ‘massive week’
Grealish and Walker both played all 90 minutes of City’s last Champions League clash against Club Brugge, which they won 5-1.
They go into this game on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League, which followed their elimination from the Carabao Cup via penalty shootout against West Ham. But Walker is confident they can rediscover the qualities they showed back in Belgium last month.
“Hopefully we can provide the same performance and resolve,” he said. “It’s important after the last couple of games we get back to a winning start and get back on track and hopefully go on a run.”
After Wednesday’s game, the attention will turn to City’s derby with Manchester United on Saturday.
Walker thus sees this week as a crucial one for City before they head into the international break.
“It’s important we get back to winning ways,” he said. “We lost at West Ham and Crystal Palace. The standards dropped in the last two games, the best thing is we can put things right.
“It’s a massive week with the derby, we need the morale back up so we can attack this game and go into the derby with better form and more confidence than we’ve got at the moment.”