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“I said before” – Pep Guardiola provides Jack Grealish insight after slow start



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Pep Guardiola has certainly not lost faith in Jack Grealish after the winger’s relatively slow start to the 2023/24 campaign.

The England international has had an up and down start to life at Manchester City. After joining in the summer of 2021 for record fee of £100 million from Aston Villa, Grealish did not hit the ground running in his first campaign.

The 28-year-old struggled to acclimatise to the demands of a Pep Guardiola-instructed system, as well as largely operating in a wider role where he was asked to retain ball possession in high-pressure areas of the field.

In his second at the Etihad Stadium however, Jack Grealish proved his worth time and time again, becoming a key cog in Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning side and showcasing several match-winning performance at the most crucial part of the campaign.

While Grealish had cemented himself in the Manchester City team ahead of the 2023/24 season, the new campaign has brought with it a handful of obstacles for the former Aston Villa man.

After coming back from a short summer with some fitness issues, Jack Grealish suffered a major leg contusion, keeping him out of the team for close to a month. Meanwhile, newcomer Jeremy Doku began to make a name for himself on the left-wing in his absence.

But a superb showing against BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night has been a swift reminder for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola about just what Jack Grealish can do on his day.

“If he played like he played in Switzerland,” Pep Guardiola said in a recent press conference, when quizzed on what his plans are for Jack Grealish this season given the success of Jeremy Doku during the opening months.

Guardiola continued, “I said before, we trust a lot in him and his ability. He has to fight to play as best as possible in every single action and game.

“We need him, we need everyone and I’m very pleased for the game he played (against BSC Young Boys).”

Pep Guardiola has yet to show his hand in regards to his best starting Manchester City line-up this season, and there has plenty of rotation to start the campaign. But one thing is for sure, if Grealish is firing, he will be involved in the biggest games for the Premier League champions.

City take on Manchester United in their next game of the Premier League campaign, travelling to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon knowing that a win would keep them within touching distance of Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham at the top of the division.