As England’s most expensive player prepares to face old side Aston Villa, Jack Grealish admitted that adjusting to life at Manchester City has been much more difficult than he anticipated.
Grealish joined City from Villa in August for a league-record fee of £100 million ($133.23 million), but he has had a difficult start at his new club, scoring two goals and assisting three times in 15 games.
“It’s been a lot harder than I expected it to be adjusting to a new boss and team mates,” Grealish told the Daily Telegraph ahead of City’s Premier League match against Villa.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve suffered, but I did find it difficult to adjust to at first. I haven’t had as many assists or goals as I did last season, but I never question myself.”
Concerns about the strain of living up to his price tag were also downplayed by the England international, who said he “couldn’t care less about it.”
Pep Guardiola backed Grealish’s development, claiming the midfielder possessed the technical abilities to succeed at City.
“All young players struggle,” Guardiola remarked, “but what he sees or has to do is so easy for him because of the quality he has.”
“Maybe it’s because he respects his teammates and it’s a new environment that he’s taking his time. That’s natural; it’s all part of the process. He requires more time.”
Manchester City is in second place in the Premier League, one point behind leaders Chelsea. After winning their past two games under new manager Steven Gerrard, Villa have moved up to 13th place.