A unique, creative spark...
Jack Grealish joined City from Aston Villa for a British-record fee having established himself as one of the Premier League’s finest midfield technicians.
Coming through the ranks at his boyhood club, Grealish was first given a taste of senior football whilst on loan at then-League One outfit Notts County, grabbing five goals and seven assists in 37 appearances across the 2013-14 campaign.
The 18-year-old had proven he could stand up to the rigours of men’s football, and would make his Villa debut before the season’s end, coming on for a late cameo away to Manchester City in May 2014.
Becoming a regular in the Villa first team towards the end of the 2014-15 campaign under Tim Sherwood, Jack gained attention for a particularly mesmerising display against Liverpool in that season’s FA Cup semi-final, in which he had a hand in both goals to help see out a 2-1 victory.
The Midlands club would ultimately lose the Wembley showpiece to Arsenal and were relegated from the Premier League the following season, bringing about a three-year hiatus from the top flight, but Grealish remained a key fixture in the side.
And after losing out to Fulham in the promotion decider in 2018, he would lead the Club back to the Premier League with a play-off final triumph over Derby County the following season.
It was during this promotion campaign that Jack’s leadership qualities came to the fore to complement his obvious technical ability, and he was handed the captain’s armband at just 23 in March 2019.
Better still for the boyhood Villa fan, he would score in both second city derbies against Birmingham City across 2018-19, including the winner at St. Andrews.
The midfielder’s stock continued to rise as he helped steer the Villans to Premier League survival, curling home a sumptuous strike away to Manchester United in December 2019 as well as the goal which ultimately secured his club’s top flight status on the final day.
International recognition would soon follow, with Grealish handed his England debut in September 2020 as he continued to go from strength to strength in claret and blue.
He was once again a key figure in Aston Villa’s early-season push for European football, grabbing six goals and ten assists by mid-February before a shin injury ruled him out for almost three months.
Our new No. 10 returned in time to be selected for Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of Euro 2020, and would grab two assists en route to the Three Lions’ first major international final in 55 years.
With his trademark low socks, junior shin pads and long, pinned back hair, Jack is an instantly recognisable and hugely popular figure across the English footballing landscape.
With his strong physique, incredible close control and eye for the spectacular, he is sure to thrive under Pep Guardiola’s watchful eye to make already star-studded squad all the more dangerous.