Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Pep Guardiola reveals Jack Grealish struggles over weight of £100m transfer fee

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager, during a Champions League game at Etihad Stadium

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits Jack Grealish has felt the pressure of his £100m transfer fee.

The midfielder scored his first goal of the season in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win at Wolves to answer growing criticism about his output.

It was just his fourth top-flight goal for City since joining for a record fee from Aston Villa last year and Guardiola conceded it has weighed on him.

He said: “Yeah, maybe. We have to admit it. He has to be who he is, that is all. Good moments, bad moments everyone has.

“The important thing is ‘I am Jack Grealish, I play like I am. I go there with a good mentality and try to do the best for myself to help all of us’. That is all I want for him and everyone.”

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden also netted while Nathan Collins was sent off for Wolves for a reckless foul on Grealish.

Pep impressed with Akanji debut

Guardiola also gave Manuel Akanji his Premier League debut for City. And he was impressed with the summer signing from Dortmund.

He said: “He was more than exceptional, win all the duels in the build-up, read perfectly when the play was short or long, he is so, so clever and when he goes, he goes, but he doesn’t go too much to give away penalties or fouls.

“He is so aggressive to go close to the opponent but then has the tempo to control the situation. From day one we felt he gets it.”

City are not back in action now until Sunday October 2 when they face bitter rivals Manchester United at The Etihad.

They go into the international break sitting second in the table after Arsenal’s win over Brentford.

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