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‘Money well spent!’ – Manchester City’s £ 100m Grealish purchase will be justified with Champions League victory, says Lescott

‘Money well spent!’  – Manchester City’s £ 100m Grealish purchase will be justified with Champions League victory, says Lescott

The former City defender believes the Premier League champions’ failed pursuit of Harry Kane will not cost Pep Guardiola’s side this season

Jack Grealish will justify his £ 100m ($ 139m) transfer fee by shooting Manchester City to Champions League glory, according to former Blues defender Joleon Lescott.

And Lescott believes City’s failed pursuit of Harry Kane will not hamper Pep Guardiola’s side in their quest for domestic and European honors this season.

Grealish became the most expensive English player in history when he moved to Etihad from Aston Villa in August, but City were unable to follow up on that signing with Kane, as Tottenham refused to negotiate with the Premier League champions over the English captain. .

What has been said?

Lescott, who won two Premier League titles during his five years at City, also played alongside Grealish during a stint at Villa, and believes the 26-year-old will enjoy the pressure and anticipation that comes with such a big award .

He told Goal: “I think he will enjoy it. I think he wants the extra pressure, the kind of control he will be under, and the realistic goals that will be set for him. He wants to embrace all that is in a top club.

“He knows he has to contribute in terms of goals and assists, but it is important that we recognize that it is not all up to him. We should not analyze Jack’s individual performance all season long, it’s about what the team does. That’s why he’s in to win things and compete for big trophies.

“So when we look back, let’s see how many trophy-winning teams Jack is a part of. And if he wins the Champions League while he’s in City, that’s firstly justifying his decision to go there, and secondly, it means the transfer fee will be money well spent. ”

‘The love of the nation will fade in the City!’

Lescott spoke passionately about the Grealish he encountered at Villa, noting the improvements he has since made in terms of professionalism and commitment.

But he issued a warning to the English international and warned that the love he felt from the public during Euro 2020 will fade now that he has joined one of the country’s biggest clubs.

Jack Grealish England Euro 2020

“He’s a confident boy, but there’s no arrogance there,” Lescott said. “He is contagious, the enthusiasm for the game is there for everyone, he wants to do well. You can just see that he cares.

“I want to compare him to someone like Phil Foden, they have the same mentality. They just want to play football, they just want a ball for their feet. And Jack is aware that he has an enormous ability, and that means there is a pressure on him to deliver and influence the outcome of games.

“He’s probably someone who was unprepared for the nation’s love for him, to be honest. You could see he was one of the fans’ favorites at the Euro with England, but that will change now that he’s gone to Man City!

“I do not think all England fans will be as eager to see him play and do well now. He knows it, he knows it will change, but I think he will love the new challenge. ”

‘Kane was not a necessity’

City would obviously have followed Grealish’s big fundraiser with someone else this summer if they had their way.

But after missing out on Kane and seeing Cristiano Ronaldo join rivals Manchester United, Guardiola’s side led into the season’s light on specialist center striker, following the departure of club legend Sergio Aguero.

However, Lescott is concerned about the lack of a world-class number nine.

Harry Kane warms up

“I don’t think there was an addiction to definitely getting Kane,” he insisted. “Look, he’s 100 percent improving the team and the squad because he’s a world – class player, just like Ronaldo is and would like. But I do not think everything was dependent on him.

“They obviously recognized that they needed a forward, so Grealish came in. But as for having a number nine, I do not think it was a necessity.

“Looking back on last season, City were a match from dominating domestic and winning the Champions League, and they have added Grealish since then, so they are not exactly a bad squad!

“They are definitely as strong as they have ever been. Yes, they have lost quality in Sergio, but they have added quality in Jack. And the style of play that Pep has used over the last 18 months means that there is less emphasis on certain positions. He wants ‘forward’ players, rather than wingers and center-backs.

“He has recognized that they always have a lot of ball, in every game they play, so what they need are players who can take the ball in tight spaces, watch passes, play combinations and walk past players when they need it in the final third.

“Jack certainly fits that form, and when you add him to what’s already there, the squad looks just as strong, though not stronger than it has been in previous years.”

He added: “In terms of the Champions League, they will always be one of the favorites, but this is probably the first year in a while that they are not the favorites.

“I think Chelsea are probably over them this year, because of what happened last season and when you look at PSG – have [Lionel] Messi, Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe should probably make you favorites for any trophy, right? ”

Further reading

BT Sport is the exclusive home of UEFA Champions League football. Watch each game in the 2021/22 competition live on TV, online and in the BT Sport app. For more information, visit btsport.com

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