Pep Guardiola has insisted that he is ‘more than happy’ with Jack Grealish’s performances this season, despite the forward failing to score or assist.
Since moving to Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2021, the England international has largely fallen short of fans’ high hopes. He was signed for £100 million. Grealish made 38 appearances last season but only contributed four goals across all competitions.
However, when questioned by the media about Grealish’s lackluster performance, Guardiola was quick to defend his player and instead bemoaned the performance of other players in the midweek match against Borussia Dortmund: “I’m more than happy with what he’s doing.
“Now it’s just a question of time to get back a little bit of his momentum that he had at the beginning of the season.
“In the last game, he was the only one up front who made aggressive runs one against one. But to make assists, he didn’t have his team-mates in the box so we left him isolated. When he went against the full-back, only Erling [Haaland] was there. [Ilkay] Gundogan was not there, Kevin [De Bruyne] was not there and they should have been. In the first half, we didn’t make any movements to help the players who had the ball and give him possibilities to make it easier.”
In defending Grealish, Guardiola insisted that Man City did not acquire the attacker in order to score goals and provide assists.
“We didn’t sign him for the incredible goals or assists. It was another reason and when he plays he does it. I want [him] to make goals and I want assists and he does, too.
“But it’s not about that, it’s about his contribution without the ball and what he can produce for the other ones and the many, many things that he’s able to do. He’s such a nice guy and in the games when he didn’t play, he is the first to help the team and in the training sessions he’s always there.”