Man City: “Amazing” star has become Guardiola’s ‘standout player’

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Journalist and transfer insider Pete O’Rourke believes that Jack Grealish has been one of Manchester City’s best players this season.

City are currently right in the hunt for a treble; they sit second in the Premier League, are in the FA Cup semi-finals and have one foot in the Champions League semi-finals after defeating Bayern Munich 3-0 in their first leg.

Grealish has emerged as a nailed-on starter as we enter the business end of the season, being described as “amazing” by manager Pep Guardiola.

How has Grealish emerged as a City star?

Manchester City's Jack Grealish shakes hands with manager Pep Guardiola after being substituted

It took a season to adjust for Grealish since he arrived for a then British record of £100m from boyhood club Aston Villa.

He managed just three goals league and assists in his first campaign in Manchester, being criticised by Ally McCoist for “taking the easy option all the time” and by Alan Shearer for playing everything too “safe and simple” (Via Daily Mail).

However, the 26-year-old has kicked on a level in his second season averaging Premier League Sofascore rating of 7.35 which is only behind Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Erling Haaland for City.

He has registered five goals and six assists in the league and his dynamism is shown by him ranking in the top 2% percentile both progressive carries and progressive passes received per 90 compared to his positional peers over the last year.

The biggest illustration of his improvement though is that Guardiola – a manager famed for his rotation – has started Grealish in each of City’s last 12 league matches.

What has O’Rourke said about Grealish?

Speaking in an interview with This is Futbol, O’Rourke stated his belief that Grealish has been an integral figure for Guardiola this season.

On the former Aston Villa man, the journalist said:

“I think Grealish has been one of the standout players from Manchester City in recent months and is deservedly keeping his place in that side and keepingnumber of top players out at that starting eleven as well. So it’s been a positive season for Jack Grealish and Manchester City will need him in the closing weeks of the season if they are to try to and reign Arsenal in in this title race.”

Can Grealish become a City legend?

The £270k-per-week man does not look have to look far to see wide players who have taken a season or so to adjust at City before having great success.

Both Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez had similar starts and both performed brilliantly in  trophy-laden years at the Etihad.

Now he has adapted to not being the star man as he was at Villa, and has embraced being ‘a superstar cog in a ruthless machine’ – as put by former England international Karen Carney – the sky really is the limit for Grealish at City.

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