Jack Grealish moved to Manchester City at the start of the year, fresh from being Aston Villa's pride and joy - the man could do no wrong in their eyes. Although Aston Villa has dramatically improved over the last few seasons, they were still nowhere near being on par with Manchester City. The move for him was huge, but sadly, he hasn't had the best season so far.
Even his off-pitch drama seems to be affecting him - with recent rumours of his Emily Attack affair being all you can read about in the media right now. As for football, let's have a look at how he's been doing.
Sadly, when it comes to Jack, the statistics speak for themselves. He moves the ball into dangerous areas with great efficiency and is effective when he’s in those areas. Jack was expected to have an incredible season for City. Since his arrival, it would seem he has struggled to put in performances that come close to what he was producing for the Villa. Is it the pressure of joining such a big team? Is it teething issues preventing his true talent from shining through?
Well, when you look at his performances, it's hard to tell what the problem is. He hasn't managed to score a goal since August and has only managed one assist throughout the entire season so far. The club hoped that Jack would join the team to be part of the driving force that solidified Manchester City at the top. Perhaps without his injury, he would have had time to prove himself, but the statistics from the season so far aren't looking promising.
Considering he was a signing worth £100m, you'd think he would have made more of an impact by now. And, when you look at the performance of Chelsea — who top the league by both performance and points — it's easy to see why Manchester City might be frustrated that their star signing isn't cutting it yet. Chelsea tickets are in high demand at the minute as the club puts in dominating performance after dominating performance, something that's proving hard to beat.
You could argue that if it weren't for his injuries, he would have made his mark by now. Jack picked up his injury during the international break, failing to appear for the England squad. He's been nursing his knock for weeks now, and although he wants to speed up his recovery for City's looming match against the Villa, it's unlikely that he will.
According to Pep Guardiola, Jack's fitness has improved dramatically since the injury, meaning he's nearly at a point where he can perform again, but that will all be decided on the morning of the match against Villa.
Will He Make His Mark?
Considering that in the first three months of the season, Jack was one of City's most-used players - you would have hoped he had enough minutes played on the pitch to relax into City's squad. Hopefully, it gave him enough time to fit into the team and find his feet, but all is left to be seen thanks to his current injury. Considering Jack cost the club £100m, the club is hopeful he will make his mark soon.
Could He Return To The Vila?
Well, not unless Villa wants to pay an obscene release clause. Jack has signed an extremely length contract with City lasting 6-years - his biggest signing to date. Although the move was a complete shock for Aston Villa fans, Jack needed to spread his wings at some point, and he has done so to a massive league club that he's likely to stay at for years to come.
Will he do a Ronaldo and return to his much-loved club after years out? There's a high chance he could do it. You can see from his performances; the ways he interacts with the fans; and how he carries himself that he is destined to be in a Villa shirt once more.
Jack Grealish is an incredibly talented player; there's no doubt about that. The move from Villa — a club where he felt confident and comfortable — was huge for him. It's still early days in the season, and he has plenty of time to turn it around and live up to the club's high expectations, and Guardiola is just the coach who will get the best out of him eventually.