May 24, 2022

Manchester City sign Jack Grealish in most expensive transfer in Premier League history

The English club Manchester City announced Thursday, August 5, that they had recruited attacking midfielder Jack Grealish, bought from Aston Villa (Birmingham) for a contract running until 2027. According to British media, City agreed to pay compensation of record transfer to England of £ 100m (around € 117m), making Grealish the most expensive signing in Premier League history ahead of Frenchman Paul Pogba (€ 105m in his transfer from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016).

The team coached by Pep Guardiola could not stop there this summer: the Mancunian club, carried by its wealthy Emirati owners and released by the relaxation of financial fair play, could again break the piggy bank to recruit striker Harry Kane, Tottenham player and member, like Jack Grealish, of the national team defeated in the final of Euro 2021 on July 11.

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The young Englishman, who signed a six-year contract with the Citizens, is satisfied with “Play for Pep and learn from him ”. That “Will be special and it is something that any footballer would want”, he said in a club statement.

With the arrival of Grealish (25 years old, 12 caps), the English champion strengthens his attacking squad with one of the most creative English players of recent years, one more argument to finally dream of a first coronation European after the disillusionment of the Champions League final lost in May in Porto against Chelsea (1-0).

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Even though, soon to be 26, Grealish has never played a single Champions League meeting or won a meaningful trophy, he has shown some consistency in the Premier League since Aston Villa came back up two years ago, delivering including twelve assists last season.

He did not start in the selection of England during the last Euro, but his entries into play at the end of the matches gave the Three Lions a little more offensive impetus, particularly in the semi-final against Denmark (2- 1 after extra time) and in the final against Italy (1-1 ap, defeat 4-3 on penalties). The applause at Wembley during his warm-ups was a reminder that he was the darling of England supporters.

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This former Irish international in the youth team, who finally chose to play for England, has also attracted the sympathy of observers by being for two seasons the player who suffers the most faults.

This daring recruitment raises questions about Manchester City’s overall strategy. Pep Guardiola made 136 changes in 38 league games last season, more than any other team, but has never really prepared for the succession of Argentinian Sergio Agüero, who has since left for Barcelona.

To strengthen themselves in this position, City will most likely have to shell out a new record sum, higher than that paid for Grealish, in order to attract a real goalscorer. According to the British press, the main target remains the English striker Harry Kane. Tottenham would demand the astronomical sum of 160 million pounds (188 million euros) for their 28-year-old striker, who wants to evolve at Manchester City and now refuses to train with his club.

The World with AFP