After becoming the most expensive English player ever when he was purchased in 2021, Jack Grealish has been the target of constant criticism. This was exacerbated in Manchester City's midweek UEFA Champions League match when he was taken off with his side behind Borussia Dortmund before a miraculous comeback.
After a sluggish start to his second season, the 27-year-old is again the center of attention at the Etihad Stadium. The winger's inclusion in Gareth Southgate's England team for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Italy and Germany has been criticized due to his lack of playing time.
They also claim he hasn't lived up to the expectations after being acquired from Aston Villa for €117 million last season. However, he stepped up in City's 3-0 victory against Wolverhampton on Saturday, playing really well and scoring a goal.
Why Jack Grealish doesn't want to stay at Manchester City ahead of next season
The England international still has five years remaining on his contract at Etihad Stadium. Moreover, his future has been the subject of much conjecture due to his inability to make a significant impact with the English champions.
Football Insider suggests that Grealish has informed his close friends that he does not plan to stay with the Citizens for the next 2023-24 season. The player reportedly doubts his decision to join a side with such rigid passing patterns because he feels the team's playing style isn't allowing him to fully express his talents.
While his former side Aston Villa made it their mission to bring out Grealish's finest, Manchester City treat the left winger as if he were disposable. Meanwhile, in a fiery post-match press conference, Pep Guardiola went all-in to defend the Englishman, saying that the player deserves credit for his efforts.
"He scored a goal and it was a good performance. Every time he has the ball it's one-against-one against the full-back all the time. I don't have any doubts about him, not at all.
"I'm delighted with his behavior and everything. I want to make goals and I want to make assists and he does too. But it’s not about that, it’s about his contribution without the ball and what he can produce for the other ones and the many, many things that he’s able to do.”