Rio Ferdinand highlights Jack Grealish’s ‘importance’ to Man City and stresses that the £100m winger is finally showing his star quality after coming through a ‘bedding in period’ under Pep Guardiola
- Rio Ferdinand has praised the impact Jack Grealish is having at Manchester City
- Grealish has enjoyed an improved season under Pep Guardiola this campaign
- Ferdinand believes the England star has come through a ‘bedding in period’
Rio Ferdinand has defended the impact Jack Grealish has had at Manchester City and stressed that the attacker is finding his best form after coming through an initial ‘bedding in period’ at the reigning Premier League champions.
Grealish was signed by City in a £100m deal in the summer of 2021 for a then record-breaking British transfer fee. However, had to endure a season of adjustment that saw him in and out of starting squads under Pep Guardiola.
This season he has become a frequent player in Guardiola’s starting eleven after adjusting to his new surroundings, with Ferdinand explaining that Grealish’s initial price-tag saw people demand the ‘finished article immediately’.
‘£100m player expectancy levels are huge, people demand the finished article immediately but you need a bedding in period and he’s had that now,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more confident than this. He’s receiving the ball and demanding it under pressure with end product now and he’s scored some big goals this season.
Jack Grealish (pictured) has begun to find his best form at Manchester City according to Rio Ferdinand
The Man City winger (middle) joined the club in 2021 in a £100m deal but has taken time to adjust
‘His importance to the team is dragging players to him and creating an overload elsewhere – him and Bernardo do that as well as anyone in this team, he added.
Many expected Grealish’s role in the team to be that of a wideman goalscorer after leaving Aston Villa but with the stunning exploits of Erling Haaland, the 27-year-old has seen his impact largely tailored to that of assist-maker.
Grealish has already managed two more assists this season than he did the four accrued last year in all competitions and has played an integral part in kick-starting attacks for Guardiola’s team of title-chasers.
The England international will overtake the 39 appearances he made for the club last season bar an injury stopping his progression as City seek to chase down Premier League leaders Arsenal and end their quest for Champions League glory.
Former Man United defender Ferdinand (pictured) believes Grealish has now emerged from his ‘bedding in period’
Grealish (right) has been an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s (left) plans this season
Former Man City centre-back Joleon Lescott joined Ferdinand in issuing a glowing review of the star, admitting that he has been impressed with Grealish’s contribution to the team.
‘He contributes much more than goals and assists. Covers so much ground and draws so much attention from opposition,’ said Lescott.
‘He frees up the other midfielders – his end product is getting a lot faster and he’s got a lot of confidence. [City are] reaping the benefits of his form now,’ he added.
Grealish started for Man City in their Champions League knockout clash with RB Leipzig on Tuesday.