Pep Guardiola makes big impression on City's newest acquisition
The English Premier League’s latest record-breaking fee is seemingly worthwhile, as it’s been less than a week since Jack Grealish joined Manchester City for £100 million, and he’s already impressed by Pep Guardiola and the work rate at Manchester following two training sessions.
There are many questions in the minds of football fans when we head towards a brand new English Premier League season, who’s going to be the next star? What are the best betting sites in 2021? Which squad can claim the 2021/22 EPL title? Well, one question that might already be answered is the form and ceiling of Manchester City’s potential to remain on top.
Jack Grealish has attended just two training sessions under the wings of Pep Guardiola. Still, the Manchester City youngster has already been blown away by the training sessions at the Etihad Campus.
One of the driving reasons that Grealish left his favourite childhood team Aston Villa was to have the chance to work with Guardiola. In addition to winning trophies, competing in the Champions League and playing alongside Kevin De Bruyne – but following his first press conference as a City player, it was evident Grealish was in-ore to Guardiola’s approach to the game.
Grealish and Guardiola had already discussed tactics before the move was confirmed, but Grealish already knows that his boss wants him to play in several positions. Guardiola’s attacking prowess can be often prided on rotation, and Grealish is shocked at the quality of work on the training ground.
“When I watch City, there’s so much attacking talent that can do everything; they’re changing positions constantly,” Grealish said.
“Even the few days I’ve been here, I’ve had two sessions, but it’s crazy seeing the work (Guardiola) does; it’s no surprise he’s been so successful in his career, some of his tactics are out of this world. I feel like I can bring a lot to the team; the manager will choose what position to play me in.”
Grealish also mentioned how Guardiola had evolved the skills of his England teammates Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden as critical reasons for moving to the Etihad this summer.
“I think a few years back, people were saying about Phil to go on loan, but he’s kept him around and transformed him into one of the best talents in the world,” he said.
“Raheem is one of the best wingers in the world as well now, and I feel like he can take my game to the next level. I’m going to learn from him every day, and I can’t wait to work with him; the way he is in training is unbelievable.
“The stuff he does, it’s stuff I would never think of, but it just works; everyone here is so desperate to play under him; Pep was a massive factor in me coming here.”
Coming out of Aston Villa, Grealish was the critical attacking threat in Dean Smith’s squad and someone the opposition could focus on marking in attempts to neutralise Villa’s attack. At City, he’ll be one part of a complete attacking force – and he believes the spotlight on other players could allow him a little more freedom than what he’s been used to.
“I’ve been playing for the national team now for a year, so I’ve kind of got used to it. There’s a lot of players that can create as well; we also had players at Villa who could create as well,” Grealish said.
“I can’t wait to play with these players. Sometimes at Villa, I would get doubled up, here it would be more difficult because there’s so much talent all over the pitch that it might be harder for teams to double up on me, giving me more space and freedom to attack players one-v-one. It can take time, you need to find that chemistry, but after a few weeks, I’ll have that and will look forward to it.”
Guardiola’s faith in Grealish has been transparent after handing him the No.10 shirt vacated by Sergio Aguero, something the young star had pride in accepting.
“Getting the ten short was a brilliant feeling; I was saying to my family and my agent how much I’d love to have it,” he said.
“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 values me giving me that shirt.”