Jack Grealish admits he underestimated the challenge of playing for such a big club as Manchester City and confessed that he is eager to score more goals.
The 26-year-old made the switch from Aston Villa to the Etihad Stadium last summer. The Citizens paid £100m for the talented forward – a British transfer record. Grealish had been the main man at Villa Park for many years, with 32 goals from 213 appearances in all competitions.
And there were those who questioned the price tag after Pep Guardiola finally got his man. It has been an up-and-down campaign for the England star to date.
He has bagged just two Premier League goals from 17 starts and 19 appearances. He has four in all competitions but the jury is still out on whether the former Notts County loan man was worth the money.
With the majority of the season now behind him, the ex-Republic of Ireland Under-21 star has opened up about life at City. And it seems as though Grealish was unprepared for all that comes with joining such a high-profile club.
“It’s been a lot more difficult than I thought it would be in terms of on the pitch and off the pitch, moving to a new city and so on,” he told the club’s official website.
“It’s been different, but I knew that it was going to be like that. I knew that it was going to be me stepping out of my comfort zone, but I’ve enjoyed it.”
Grealish targets more goals
While not prolific in front of goal, Grealish chipped in with some important goals for Villa. But despite a lack of productivity with the north-west giants, he is happy with his overall contribution.
“I don’t think it’s any secret to anyone that I would love to have scored more and assisted more this season, but I feel like I’ve been playing well, even when I haven’t been scoring or assisting,” he added.
Guardiola recently told the man with 18 England caps to not be ‘stupid’ about his lack of goals. But it is clearly still on Grealish’s mind.
Champions League the real prize for City
Grealish has yet to get his hands on a domestic trophy. That may well change in May, with the champions still on track to make it back-to-back league triumphs.
Liverpool will have a say in that. And Grealish has revealed the club’s top priority for 2021-2022.
“We’re in a good place at the moment; we’re top of the league, we’re in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and obviously the same with the Champions League as well. So, I think, as a team and myself, we’re in a good place just now,” he continued.
“Most of the lads here, they’ve won everything, numerous times as well. So, I think that the Champions League is the one that everyone wants this year.
“Obviously, it’s brilliant if we can go and win every competition that we’re in, but I think that being one that we haven’t won yet, I think that’s what we have our eyes on.”
City face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, with the first leg scheduled to be played on April 5 at the Etihad.