Many eyebrows were raised when Manchester City signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for a whopping price of £100 million during the 2021 summer transfer window.
Many questioned the rationale behind spending so much money on a player primarily on the basis of his performances for the England national team at Euro 2020, especially when Manchester City already had a plethora of options upfront.
However, with the departure of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus at the start of this season, the scenario has changed drastically. Phil Foden has had health issues and has missed a considerable part of this season as a result.
All of this has allowed Grealish to make the left winger’s position his own for City. He has five goals and six assists to his name already this season and those numbers should improve before the season concludes. Those figures eclipse his return of four goals and three assists from the previous season.
Ability to hurt the opposition through counter-attacks
Grealish has often excelled while slicing through defenses through counter-attacks. His speed has allowed him to stun City’s opponents with sudden bursts in transition down the left flank. City has often switched to a 3-4-2-1 from a 4-3-3 while in possession, which meant that Grealish has had to play as the left wing-back.
As a result, he has had to cover a lot of ground at times. Still, he has often managed to punish his opponents by exploring the space offered to him with the help of his blistering place and good ball-skills. Thus, Grealish has become accustomed to Guardiola’s tactical tweaks and helped the English champions become a better team.
Grealish is also a superb dribbler and can hold the ball up when required. He can, therefore, be very useful to the team when they are trying to see out a result. He also makes it a point to track back and do the necessary defensive work while playing as a wing-back.
Improving his finishing
Grealish is now a better finisher than he was a couple of seasons ago. Recently, he scored his first home goal in the Premier League against Liverpool and then scored again versus Southampton in the subsequent match. His ability to score with a right-footed curler from the edge of the penalty box has been on display several times. He also manages to penetrate into the box frequently by cutting in through the inside-left channel.
With Erling Haaland in sublime form and Kevin de Bruyne as influential as ever, City have no dearth of offensive brilliance. However, Grealish’s performances have been a bonus for them and the English winger should continue to be a vital cog in their wheel in the upcoming seasons.
Grealish will have to keep up his good work if Manchester City are to overcome their upcoming challenges in the testing month of April. The Manchester City supporters and football lovers in general will be waiting with a lot of interest to see how he performs for the remainder of the season.