Jack Grealish: Where would he fit in at Man City?

Martin Macdonald
Jack Grealish: Where would he fit in at Man City?

Manchester City are on the verge of their first ever Champions League final but the club are apparently already looking ahead to the summer transfer window.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the English champions are intent on making Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish the first £100 million player in English football.

The attacking midfielder has enjoyed a remarkable season and according to the English newspaper, Pep Guardiola is a huge fan.

As such, the club with some of the deepest pockets in all of football are apparently now willing to offer Villa the kind of money they would demand for their cherished star.

Should the major transfer be completed, where would he fit in among the stars at the Etihad?

Who’ll play where?

MCFC - Football tactics and formations

Man City are, of course, blessed with an abundance of talent in attack, with at least two senior players for every position.

Grealish naturally features either on the left of a three behind the striker, or behind the striker in the number 10 role.

It is unlikely the England international will be deployed on the right, so Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez can consider their positions safe for now, even if the former is sometimes deployed on the left.

Should Grealish be signed for a figure close to £100m, he’ll start more game than not, which leaves someone having to make way on the left or centrally.

Is Phil Foden the main obstacle to Man City signing Grealish?

Is Phil Foden the main obstacle to Man City signing Grealish?

Who could make way for Grealish?

Ferran Torres was signed for a fairly nominal £20.8m [€23m] in the summer, and although he has displayed moments of real quality, he hasn’t, as of yet, plugged the gap left by Leroy Sane.

Bernardo Silva can feature in any position behind the centre-forward, but has started just four Premier League games so far this season.

Perhaps the most interesting factor in the acquisition of Grealish, in terms of other personnel. is what it means for Phil Foden.

The 20-year-old has broken into the senior team under Guardiola. And the former Barca and Bayern manager now seems to fully trust the young midfielder with even the biggest of occasions.

StatJack GrealishPhil FodenFerran Torres
FootballCritic Rating868783
Starts232112
Goals71613
Assists10103
Shots P902.12.72.6
Dribbles P902.62.01.4
Premier League only, via FootballCritic

Unlike Silva and Torres, Foden has started a huge number of games in the second half of the season. Any elite side, of course, requires a large squad with plenty of rotation, available, especially within the unprecedented hectic schedule in 2020/21.

But, in the crunch games, Guardiola will have big decisions to make if he spends another huge fee on someone.

It isn’t outwith the realms of possibility that Grealish and Foden could eventually play in the same XI for Man City, but during the recent international break there were worries of Grealish and Chelsea’s Mason Mount playing together due to the similar positions they tend to take up.

Foden now seems to be one of Guardiola’s most cherished players, so it remains to be seen whether the arrival of Grealish would complicate or compliment the young player’s development.