Jack Grealish says he has loved every minute of what have been a “crazy few days” since his £100million move to Manchester City.
England international Grealish joined the Premier League champions from Aston Villa for a British record fee last week. The 25-year-old spoke to the media as he was presented to fans and formally unveiled by City on Monday.
Grealish, who made his City debut in the Community Shield on Saturday, said: “It has been a crazy few days. It is something I’ve not experienced before.
“I’d been at Aston Villa my whole life. These past few days have been different, I’d not been in a different changing room before, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make. It was something I felt I couldn’t turn down – the chance to play Champions League football and win trophies.
“The chance to play with Kevin De Bruyne and also to play for the best manager in the world was a big factor in it.”
Grealish has been given the number 10 shirt at the Etihad Stadium that was recently vacated by the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero following his move to Barcelona.
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Grealish said: “Getting the number 10 shirt was a brilliant feeling. I was saying to my family and my agent how much I’d love to have it.
“It’s big shoes to fill after Sergio but I feel I can wear that shirt and play well in it. It shows how much the club value me giving me that shirt.”
Having been at hometown Villa since he was a child, Grealish admitted leaving was emotional.
He said: “It was so tough. Everyone saw how (Lionel) Messi was yesterday (at Barcelona) – that’s exactly the way I felt.
“Before I left at the hotel I spoke to the team and the staff and the players and I teared up a little bit myself.
“But I felt like it was time for me to move on. I’ve always said how much I want to play Champions League football.”
Villa always in Grealish’s heart
Grealish admits Villa will always be in his heart but is now looking ahead.
He said: “I’ve been a Villa fan since I was four. I went to the club when I was six.
“There will always be links there, especially with the big family I have, everyone is a Villa fan.
“But at the end of the day I’m a City player now and will concentrate on being successful here. I’ve come here to win silverware.”
Grealish does not think the transfer fee will be a burden.
He said: “It doesn’t put any pressure on me, I take that as a compliment. I like it, it’s a good tag to have.
“When you see a club paying that sort of money it means they trust you and value you highly, they see so much potential there to work with.”