Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three or four months, it’s widely known that on Friday 30th July Manchester City activated a clause in Jack Grealish’s contract that allowed the Aston Villa captain to leave to a Champions League club.
The catch was the price-tag, £100 million.
City went through with the deal and paid the sum to Aston Villa in a deal that seen Grealish become the most expensive Premier League and British signing of all-time.
Perhaps unfortunately for City, the announcement of their star man (on 5th August 2021) was overshadowed. The same evening, Barcelona announced that Lionel Messi would be leaving after over 15 years at the club. In all fairness this news would have overshadowed anything in the sporting world.
Nevertheless, nobody has forgot the amount City paid for Grealish. It seems as if every time Grealish has the ball or is being spoke about, the price-tag is brought up.
It is too early to judge if he’s been worth the money, as some players like Jadon Sancho have proven it takes time to settle into a new team, but Grealish has started off better than most City fans ever expected. He’s been a breath of fresh air into an attack, that despite all of the trophies it’s won, needed it.
City’s new number 10 just offers something different. In the past year, Grealish is in the top 1% for both shot-creating actions and progressive carries, per 90. He is also in the top 3% for expected assists, per 90, too.
Fitness hasn’t been an issue either for Grealish, he’s made the most appearances out of City’s forwards this season. Pep Guardiola clearly values him highly, in a squad full of world-class ability everywhere you look.
Defensively Grealish has been impressive too. He ranks second, behind Gabriel Jesus, in City’s wingers for pressures per 90 and also wins the ball 39.1% of the time. The majority of Grealish’s pressures come from the middle third of the pitch – significantly more than the others too. This shows us Grealish’s desire and ability to drop deep win the ball and progress it further up the pitch.
So has he justified his price-tag, well we cannot say for certain but so far – yes. Grealish has proven he’s got the ability to justify that value and there’s no reason he doesn’t have the longevity either. That’s just on the pitch, off it Grealish is a modern-day David Beckham. A genuine celebrity and that’s only good for his PR, presuming he stays out of any scandals. For that much money you want someone that’s loved by most people – Grealish is that man, EURO 2020 proved that. He didn’t start many games, but everyone was calling for him to start and cherished their new David Beckham. Super Super Jack, Super Super Jack, Super Super Jack, Super Jacky Grealish. You’ve heard it before and it won’t be going away anytime soon.
Grealish was made for the big stage, at Villa he wasn’t going to achieve his destiny but at City he can. Trophies, big moments and legendary status within the English game are all there for him, already served up. It may have only been a few games and it’s still early doors but Grealish has already shown he’s heading that way, at speed.
*all stats correct as of 13:20 18/09/21 – via FBRef