Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson is not surprised to see Jack Grealish struggle at Manchester City after his £100m move last summer.
Grealish has had a slow start to life in Manchester after a terrific spell with his boyhood club, Aston Villa.
The England playmaker has only scored five goals and provided three assists in 35 appearances across all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Despite thinking that Grealish is a “top player”, Merson does not believe he can express himself for City and can see him being sold in the near future.
“I had a feeling it would be like this – I didn’t get the move to Man City,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column. “He’s a top player, I’m a big fan of Jack. I didn’t see it working really though. From the age of six he’s been taught to get the ball, dribble with it and beat everybody. From the age of six.
“Then he comes through the ranks, gets into the Villa team and keeps doing that, and then goes to a team that is all pass, pass, pass. 20 years he’s been taught one way and now he’s got to stop doing that and pass the ball. And it’s hard. It’s hard.
Nathan Ake is just another example of a Pep signing improving ten-fold and coming on his own in his second season. Sane, Bernardo, Mahrez, Cancelo and Rodri before him. Grealish next.
— Mehul Gupta (@mehulg10) May 2, 2022
“He’s been getting the ball, beating the world, and then do what you want Jack. Now, he gets the ball and has to pass it. He might turn round and say he’s loving every minute, but I think he’s finding it difficult at the moment.
“He’s got to keep playing a certain way, they want to pass and they all know what they’re doing. They have a plan, and he doesn’t play that way. He gets on the ball and he wants to beat people, now he’s got to change that at 25, 26 years of age.
“I don’t think he’s going to get used to doing it. I think they might sell him, I might be wrong. Maybe not this summer, but is the lad enjoying it? You’ve got to ask him.
“Pep is one of the best coaches in the world and he won’t want to be seen to be unable to change a player yet, so I think he’ll stay this summer, but Jack wants to play football. It’ll be interesting.”
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