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Grealish at Man City is a mouth-watering or terrifying prospect depending on your point of view. As the most fouled player in the Premier League last season by a considerable margin, Grealish combines peerless ball carrying ability with destructive creativity.
For Aston Villa he was mainly deployed as a wide playmaker on the left with freedom to roam and limited defensive responsibility. It's unlikely he will have quite the same amount of freedom in Man City's side, but here's a quick look at how Man City could line-up if he's used in a similar role.
In this formation, Grealish fits into his usual left-sided playmaker role, with Foden operating in a similar fashion on the opposite flank.
Grealish on the left means moving Sterling out of his favoured position and with the central striker role vacant at present, it's possible Pep Guardiola might choose to play Sterling through the middle in a poacher role.
Another option is to deploy Foden in the central role as a false nine, dropping into midfield and allowing the likes of Gündoğan, Sterling, Mahrez or Grealish to play off him and provide the goal threat.
Of course, a certain Harry Kane would fit perfectly into these roles, too, a thought that will give Premier League defenders nightmares.
There is, however, one further option. While Grealish has frequently played from the left for Aston Villa and England, it's said he prefers playing through the middle. A recent report suggests Guardiola might grant him that wish by playing him in the no.8 role frequently occupied by Gündoğan.
This would allow Sterling to occupy his preferred role on the left with Foden shifting out wide on the right and Gabriel Jesus or Kane (should he sign) taking up the central striker role.
Needless to say, Guardiola can and will use various front three combinations throughout the season, especially given Foden can play on the right, left and through the middle.
Above all, it shows Grealish could fit into more than one role for Man City, giving his manager yet more ways to confound opponents with fluid attacking combinations.
According to Whoscored.com, Sterling and De Bruyne were the second and third best players in the Premier League based on average rating per game. Both were also in the top five for assists and they were the top two in the league for key passes per game.
If that weren't terrifying enough, the only player with more assists and a higher average rating per game last season was Harry Kane. If Man City manages to capture one the best strikers in the world as well, the rest of the league may as well throw in the towel now.
Featured Image Credit: PA/SPORTbible
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