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Pep Guardiola believes upcoming World Cup will further motivate Manchester City star

Srinivas Sadhanand

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Pep Guardiola believes upcoming World Cup will further motivate Manchester City star

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Pep Guardiola believes making the cut for England’s squad for the 2022 World Cup could provide further motivation for Jack Grealish to finally reach his full potential at Manchester City.

Unsurprisingly, the expectations were sky high when Manchester City broke the bank to sign Jack Grealish for a British record fee of £100 million last summer.

Coming off the back of a fruitful Euro 2020 campaign, the Englishman was considered as somewhat of a national treasure at that point.

With the silky attacker’s displays bordering on world class to many for a mediocre Aston Villa side, it was expected that his game would reach another level amongst the very elite at the Etihad Stadium.

Additionally, the Solihull-born superstar was set to work under Pep Guardiola, who is widely considered as the best manager in the world.

Manchester City signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m during this summer's transfer window
Manchester City signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m during this summer's transfer window

However, things didn't go swimmingly in his maiden campaign, as Grealish endured a lacklustre first season at the Etihad.

Much like in the cases of Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo who all struggled to get to grips to Pep Guardiola’s intricate system, the England international suffered the same fate last term.

Unlike during his time at Villa where he was renowned for his quick feet and incredible dribbling ability, the 26-year old was a shadow of his former self.

Grealish struggled to impose himself on games and looked unrecognizably risk-averse, which are factors that drew widespread criticism from fans and pundits alike, especially considering his nine figure price tag.

As the now-Premier League champions gears up for his second season at Manchester City, none other than Pep Guardiola rushed to his defence.

“The most important thing you need to know about Jack Grealish is that he won the Premier League. He came here to help us to win the Premier League and he did it.

Jack Grealish celebrates winning the Premier League trophy with Manchester City.
Jack Grealish celebrates winning the Premier League trophy with Manchester City.

"We have two other chances to get to finals and we were close but unlucky because football and destiny are like this.”, said Guardiola.

The Catalan manager continued, “Jack is incredibly loved in the locker room. He is so humble and people like him. Of course, I want more, not just from Jack, but from everyone.

"I want more, definitely I want more. And he will have to fight. We have a small squad and competition up front is so big and they are really, really good players. But it is what it is. 

"At the end of the day, everybody knows Jack. Every player. One minute on the field, show me. The better you can play, the better chance you have to play more minutes.”

Jack Grealish stands alongside Phil Foden with the Premier League trophy
Jack Grealish stands alongside Phil Foden with the Premier League trophy

Guardiola went on to discuss how a World Cup year could lead to an upturn in his star man’s performances, explaining: “And we are optimistic because he has arrived here well and he knows the World Cup around the corner. The manager Gareth knows he has a big selection because there are many good players in the England national men’s team. And everyone knows what they have to do.”

Much like in the case of various signings during the Pep Guardiola reign that have thrived in their second seasons, the hope remains that Jack Grealish does the same.

Manchester City kick-off their Premier League title defence away to West Ham on Sunday afternoon, an opponent Grealish had considerable success against last season - scoring a key goal at the London Stadium.

Topics: Manchester City, Jack Grealish, Pep Guardiola, Football World Cup

Srinivas Sadhanand
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