Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has earmarked a surprise positional change for Jack Grealish at Manchester United, should the Red Devils succcesfully manage to prise Aston Villa’s prized asset to Old Trafford this summer.
Grealish has scored nine goals and eight assists in the Premier League this term and has often been the source of his side’s goals throughout the campaign.
The 24-year-old has long been linked with United, with reports suggesting that Red Devils boss Solskjaer has placed him high on his list of summer targets as he looks to sign the player and form a dream attacking midfield partnership with Bruno Fernandes.
And with talk of a move to Old Trafford gathering pace, a report in The Athletic claims Solskjaer has already decided to deploy Grealish in a less-than-familiar role should the deal go through.
With January recruit Fernandes already shining for United in the No 10 role, and with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial seemingly inter-changeable in the central and left-sided attacking roles, it’s reported Solskjaer wants Grealish to play on the right-hand side of United’s attack should he sign.
The 24-year-old has predominantly featured off the left flank or from a central position under Dean Smith this season and while the role is not unfamiliar to Grealish, it’s not one he has occupied for a good few years.
As per Transfermarkt, Grealish has played that role played as a right winger 12 times and a right midfielder four times in his career, during which he contributed two goals and four assists.
However, it would come as something of a surprise to see him used there, particularly as United have also been strongly linked with Jadon Sancho to play in that role with the England winger said to already have an agreement in place over a summer move to Old Trafford.
Any deal for Grealish is likely to set United back at least £60million so it would seem unusual that Solskjaer sees Grealish operating in that position, with his last outing in that role way back in Villa’s 1-1 Championship draw with Bristol City in September 2018.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher outlining exactly why he’s being linked with a move to Old Trafford in this wholesome appraisal of his talents.
A clearly-impressed Carragher stated: “The best way to describe him is that it almost feels like every time Grealish gets the ball, the game stops.
“It’s like everyone is waiting to see what he’s going to do, like he’s got time on the ball.”
Discussing Grealish’s future, the pundit added: “Who knows how the season is going to end up and whether Villa go down or not, but there’s no doubt he’s got the quality to play for one of the top clubs in the Premier League or Europe.”
Rio Ferdinand also backs United to sign Grealish
The Red Devils will reportedly choose between Grealish or Leicester’s James Maddison in the summer window, but their former defender reckons Grealish just about edges it.
“Maddison is someone who can get the ball, he can pop it about.
“He gets goals, gets assists, sets up chances, he’s sharp, he gets in good positions to create things. Very good footballer. I like him.
“Grealish does all of that but he has one thing over all these players we talk about in this position for England like Dele Alli, Maddison, Mason Mount in that position, that attacking… that can play off the striker, that can play as an attacking midfielder.
“Grealish can take people on. Grealish gets the ball, he can manipulate the ball, draw players to him… draw one/two players to him leaving space for someone else.
“That’s what I like about Grealish. He’s got that bit of arrogance as well. Knows he’s a good player that’s producing.
“He just edges it for me.”