Jack Grealish has told Sky Sports life at Man City has been “much more difficult” than he expected – and that he has “so much more” to give the club.
The Premier League’s first £100m player has yet to regularly hit the level of performance which persuaded Manchester City to sign him from Aston Villa in the summer, but he has still managed to score and assist two goals each from 12 league starts.
But he could be straight back in the Premier League champions’ squad to face Leicester on Boxing Day, and he is eager to show the Etihad crowd what he can do in 2022.
“I’ve done okay so far“, he said. “I’ve got so much more to give. It’s been so much more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I’m still learning and adapting. I’ve heard some people take a year to adapt here so maybe it will be the same for me. I want to score more and set up more goals next year.
“It’s crazy because the standards here are so high on and off the pitch. It’s unbelievable and it’s why they have been so successful over the years.
“Having a £100m price tag means when you are going through a dry patch people ask if you are worth the money – where are his goals, where are his assists? I understand that, but I have to see it as a privilege that the club wanted to spend that much money on me and I hope I can repay them with goals and trophies.
“Playing in the Champions League is completely different to the Premier League – I had never played in Europe before, and I really wanted to. It’s unbelievable to hear the Champions League anthem, it makes you pinch yourself. It’s one trophy the players here really want to win“.
The year 2021 has certainly not been all bad for Grealish – after captaining Aston Villa to an 11th-placed finish last season, he featured five times as England reached the Euro 2020 final and played a part in both goals in the last-16 win over Germany at Wembley.
After facing penalty heartbreak in the final against Italy many of the Three Lions squad took their runners-up medals off immediately after they were handed them – but with time forever a healer, Grealish said he could now look back with fond memories on what was a historic summer for the national team.
He said: “Playing for England in the summer was unbelievable. Now it’s gone, I look back on memories and photos and videos and I realise just how special it was. It was such a shame to lose on penalties, it is one of the worst ways to lose. Looking back it was definitely the best summer of my life. It was special for the country and the players and our families. It was a shame we couldn’t go all the way, but it makes us more motivated to go all the way in the World Cup next year“.
“Of course, we can win the World Cup. I’m not going to sit here and say we are going to win it. We’ve definitely got a good chance and the way we played in the Euros gives us belief that we can win the World Cup“.
“I came here to City to try and win trophies. That’s what you look at when your career ends – trophies and medals. Losing out with England has made me want to win trophies with City even more. We are playing some brilliant football at the moment and we are giving ourselves a really good chance of going on and winning a few trophies. That’s why I came here“.