“It’s normal for people to want to talk after what they paid for me”

You are used to living in the eye of the hurricane. When Manchester City broke the bank last summer to sign Jack Grealish, the Englishman became the most expensive signing in the club’s history. The hundred million pound man. A year later, Grealish has seven goals and four assists in the light blue jersey. A contribution too little for some, a period of time too short for others. Last weekend he scored his first goal of this campaign in the victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Criticism is inevitable. The price that City paid for him is criticized, the use that Pep Guardiola makes of the footballer and even the player’s own ability is doubted 27 years old. Kevin De Bruyne explained after the meeting at Molineux that English footballers are more scrutinized and singled out than foreigners. “I understand,” said the Belgian. “They are English and people want to see what happens, but I feel that if a foreign player, for example, goes out one night, he is not pointed out as much. Whereas if the player is English he will appear in the media”.

At a press conference during the concentration with England, which will face Italy and Germany in the Nations League, Jack Grealish said he agreed with his City teammate, and explained his own case after arriving in Manchester. “I think that’s what it is in this country, especially with me who plays in one of the biggest clubs in the world and wins titles every year,” argued the attacker. “Obviously it’s normal for people to want to talk after what they paid for me. It’s something I have to get used to, it’s part of the game. But yeah, I think Kevin is right.”.

“I feel like I handle the pressure well, and I feel like I can start playing much better. Perhaps I have not shown my best level since I arrived at City last year. I think I have left samples, but I will try to work harder during the next two months to be more regular. Before arriving at City I knew that I would play every minute of every game. He was the captain of Aston Villa, he was always in the starting team. Then I came to a club like City, and you have people like De Bruyne, Foden… and I could go on. It’s hard. We even have a winger like Joao Cancelo who is one of the best in the world in his position! Everything is different, obviously, sometimes it’s complicated.”

Grealish also spoke about Pep Guardiola and Gareth Southgateboth criticized for the use they make of the player and the minutes they offer him. “At Villa I had more freedom, at City everything is more structured. I have a great relationship with the coach, I have never seen anyone think and see football as he does. I know people say that maybe I’m playing differently than I was used to, but I think that also depends on the players I play with. After playing with such good players it is normal that my own game changes. I will never be exactly the same player, because I play for a different club, with another team, another coach… hopefully this will be the start of my season and I can start to do things better”.

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