‘£100m? He can’t even control a ball’ – Grealish on Man City nerves & needing to be more ‘selfish’

Jack Grealish Manchester City RB Leipzig Champions LeagueGetty

Jack Grealish has admitted to feeling nervous ahead of his first training session at Manchester City, with the most expensive player in British football aware that a £100 million ($131m) price tag would be judged the moment he did anything wrong.

The England international completed a record-setting transfer during the summer of 2021, with Pep Guardiola moving to acquire his obvious creative qualities from Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

Confidence has rarely been an issue for Grealish, who revels under the brightest of spotlights, but he was wary of misplacing passes following his arrival at the Etihad Stadium as he prepared to line up alongside the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden.

What did Jack Grealish make of his £100m price tag?

Grealish was in a good place when arriving at City, having helped England to the final of Euro 2020, but concedes that even he felt the weight of expectation after seeing a nine-figure transfer fee change hands.

Discussing the times he has felt most nervous on a football field with BBC Sport, the talented 26-year-old said: "I think probably one of the most nervous I've ever been was probably in the semi-final when I played against Liverpool for Aston Villa.

"As soon as I got on to the pitch, I don't know, I had a good game and I just felt at ease, and I half stood there and just thought to myself: 'I've done this every day for my whole life'.

"Ever since then I've never really been affected with pressure. Even when I've come here, people have said 'pressure', but I swear like I'm not [feeling pressure] when I play.

"The most nervous I've ever been, apart from that day, was my first session at City.

"There was no one there, there weren't like fans or anything, it was just the other players. Like going out to training, if I made a bad pass, they'd be thinking: 'A hundred million? He cant even control the ball!'

"I think even now, sometimes with the price tag and all, this doesn't actually affect me at all I swear, it's more or less trying to impress the manager because he's such a big figure and trying to impress all these players I'm playing with, and wanting them to think I'm a good player.

"This is the business end now and hopefully I can help the team and chip in with goals and assists, because that's what I've come here for."

Where can Jack Grealish improve his game?

Grealish’s debut campaign at City has not played out entirely as planned, with only four goals and three assists recorded across 32 appearances in all competitions.

He does, however, have the full support of his manager and accepts that there are areas of his game that he can improve in order to make a more telling contribution to a collective cause.

Grealish said when asked how he intends to make a greater impact in a City side that is chasing down Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League honours in 2022: "I shoot way less than anyone.

"I'm not even sure why, the guys say it here. Like say if I score in training, the lads are like: 'Why don't you shoot more?'

"I probably should become more selfish. But like I said I don't really count myself as a selfish player. If someone's in a better position I'm going to pass it to them.

"I actually love the feeling of having an assist - players coming over and thanking you for their goal. It's just nice.

"Scoring is the best feeling in football, but I just love assisting."

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