Jack Grealish is back! £100-million star second only to Erling Haaland in influence at Man City this season
When Jack Grealish signed for Manchester City, there was genuine fascination at the idea that Pep Guardiola, the ultimate team coach, had signed someone many regarded as the ultimate individual.
Those who had their doubts about the unlikely marriage felt smug as Grealish cut a peripheral figure in his first season at the Etihad Stadium, starting little more than half the games and being benched for the biggest matches against Real Madrid, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.
But now Grealish resembles a Guardiola protege, a complete footballer who perfectly understands his coach's style of play and who will put his body on the line for the team.
Grealish has had an excellent season, but his virtuoso performance in the 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool was his coronation. After the winger had helped put Jurgen Klopp's side to the sword, Guardiola gushed in pride at the transformation his player has made in his sophomore campaign at the Etihad.
“I think all this season he has been really well,” Guardiola said. “This is the Jack Grealish that Aston Villa fans know really well. He believes completely and the way he behaved in the beginning when he wasn’t playing was perfect."