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‘I thought I’d score so many goals’ – Grealish admits Man City adjustment has been difficult after £100m transfer

12:51 GMT+3 06/01/2023
Jack Grealish Manchester City 2022-23
Jack Grealish admits he has found life at Manchester City “difficult”, with the forward saying he thought he would “get so many goals and assists”.
  • Broke British transfer record in 2021
  • Moved to the Etihad for £100m
  • Has struggled for end product at times

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international became the most expensive player in British football when completing a record-breaking £100 million ($119m) transfer to the Etihad Stadium from Aston Villa in the summer of 2021. He has registered seven goals and as many assists through 59 appearances since then – with his latest contribution in the final third teeing up Riyad Mahrez's winner against Chelsea on Thursday at Stamford Bridge – but more was expected from the 27-year-old following his arrival at the Etihad Stadium.

WHAT THEY SAID: Grealish has told Sky Sports of his adjustment to life at City: “When I came here, I'll be honest with you, it was so much more difficult than I thought. In my head I thought I was going to the team sitting top of the league and I was going to get so many goals and assists and obviously it isn't the case. A lot of teams tend to sit in against us and that wasn't the case at Villa.”

He added: “[Ex-Aston Villa manager] Dean Smith would tell me to go and find the weak link in the defence, whether that was on the right, the middle or whether I wanted to hug the touchline - and at Villa, I always had an overlapping full-back. I came into City, having been at Villa my whole life, and I've never had to change. I've always been used to that. I didn't realise how hard it is to adapt to a different team and manager.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Grealish has started just eight of City’s 17 Premier League games this season – as he faces competition for places from the likes of Mahrez, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez – and also saw all five of his outings for England at the 2022 World Cup come from off the bench.


WHAT NEXT? Grealish will be hoping to figure prominently for City over the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign, with Pep Guardiola’s side still in the hunt for Premier League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Champions League honours.