Jack Grealish has admitted that adapting to life at Manchester City has been ‘much more difficult’ than he was expecting.
The England international made a £100m move to the Etihad Stadium from boyhood club Aston Villa in 2021, but is yet to make the impact most would expect from the sixth most expensive player in the history of football.
To date, Grealish has just four Premier League goals for his new club, with manager Pep Guardiola previously admitting that the former Villa captain has to score more.
Speaking to Sky Sports, following City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening, Grealish admitted that he has been disappointed with his own lack of goal contributions at the club and admitted the adaptation had taken him by a surprise.
“When I came here, I’ll be honest with you, it was so much more difficult than I thought,” the 27-year-old said.
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“In my head I thought I was going to the team sitting top of the league and I was going to get so many goals and assists and obviously it isn’t the case. A lot of teams tend to sit in against us and that wasn’t the case at Villa. Dean Smith would tell me to go and find the weak link in the defence, whether that was on the right, the middle or whether I wanted to hug the touchline – and at Villa, I always had an overlapping full-back.
“I came into City, having been at Villa my whole life, and I’ve never had to change. I’ve always been used to that. I didn’t realise how hard it is to adapt to a different team and manager.”
Grealish started 22 games for City in his first season at the Etihad and has again been part of a regular rotation under Guardiola. Of the 17 games they’ve played during 2022/23, Grealish has played in 11, with only eight of those coming as a starter.