Premier League holders, Manchester City were long linked with a potential move for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. Early in August, City broke the bank and made this record signing happen. Grealish is finally a Cityzen and now holds the record transfer fee in English football.
City have gone all out and bought who they think is a perfect Pep Guardiola player. So what makes Jack Grealish this perfect addition to a squad already filled with world-class talent in the attacking positions? And where would he fit in this Manchester City team? Let’s find out.
WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS SAYING?
Jack Grealish scored six times and had ten assists to go along with them in the previous Premier League season. He created 70 chances from open play, which was 26 more than any other Villa player and only seven shy of the league leader Bruno Fernandes’ 77.
Grealish had an expected goals tally of 4.65 and easily outscored it. Only the Golden Boot winner Harry Kane (14), Kevin De Bruyne (12) and Fernandes (12) supplied more assists than the new City signing.
He attempted 110 dribbles, tallying up a success rate of 59.09 per cent, the seventh-best out of Premier League players to attempt 100 or more dribbles.
All these numbers are extremely promising for a player who is starting to find his peak in one of the toughest leagues in the world.
Grealish was generally deployed down the left wing during his time at Aston Villa, a position we have been used to seeing Raheem Sterling occupy at Manchester City over the last few years. We have seen with the national team that Sterling could be shifted to the right wing to accommodate Grealish on the left. Jack is a great dribbler who attracts plenty of tackles and fouls in the process. Whether he would start as Guardiola’s first choice left-winger is still to be determined but he for sure becomes a great option at that position.
Even though City doesn’t play with a traditional number 10, i.e an attacking midfielder, Grealish gets something different to that squad in that specific position. He is well-suited to playing as a playmaker and that is something Guardiola can contemplate implementing in the coming season. He could also play an advanced number 10 that could be more like a false nine that Guardiola adopted in the previous season.
ADVANCED NUMBER 8
With the attacking abundance that City have at their disposal, it would be no surprise to see Grealish occupying deeper positions. It would be interesting to see him link up with some excellent midfielders in Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan in that deeper role. This would be a position that could take Jack some time to adapt but his quality suggests that it wouldn’t be that big an issue.
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