By Connor Andrews
Roy Keane has backed Jack Grealish to improve from a difficult first season at Manchester City but Graeme Souness thinks it might be too late.
The Premier League’s record signing had a tricky debut campaign at the Etihad managing only three goals and three assists in the 22 games he started.
The £100million man acknowledged his struggles after leaving boyhood club Aston Villa last summer, and former Villa assistant Keane also expected more from the attacker.
However, he thinks that’s far from the end of the story with the Man United legend empathising with Grealish’s lack of game time.
“We’ll try and give Jack the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “We were talking about his age earlier, he’s what 26 – 27, now.
“We’re thinking maybe he should have gone to City and maybe adapted a bit quicker but sometimes it can be difficult.
“He’s gone in and not really had the run of games, he had one or two injuries earlier in the season, he would have been disappointed even in the last game being left out against his old club Aston Villa but they got over the line.
“You’d fully expect Jack to have adapted more to the demands of Man City and of Pep [Guardiola], I think Pep certainly would have been intense with him and maybe Jack wasn’t quite used to that.
Chelsea confirm Koulibaly, Lewandowski close to Barcelona, Spurs to seal another deal
West Ham mount £100m triple swoop with offers for Chelsea starlet, Italy ace, and Onana
England fans sing ‘it’s coming home’ as Lionesses roar into next round with huge win
Christian Eriksen ‘owes Brentford nothing’ after completing Man United switch
Comments from Ferguson resurface suggesting Eriksen deal was 10 years in making
Arsenal close to transfer breakthrough with Oleksandr Zinchenko transfer update
“We’ve seen him being left out of big games for City and Gareth [Southgate] has done the same with England.
“The penny has to drop with Jack, if you want to be a real top player you’ve got to step up to the plate a bit more and the manager’s got to have a bit of trust with him.
“Again fine lines, with Jack, an attacking player, we saw Jack in the Real Madrid game he had one or two chances.
“But this will define a player, these moments, can you put the ball in the back of the net and get your team into the final? And that’s where Jack has just come up short, but I wouldn’t be writing him off just yet.”
Keane’s punditry colleague wasn’t in agreement though, citing Grealish’s age as an issue.
He explained: “I’m not sure, I think Jack is 26 – 27 in September, 27, not 21 – 27.
“This is the way I was educated, ‘too many touches son’, if you’re taking too many touches you’re not seeing the picture quick enough I think that would be Jack’s story.
“The most fouled player in the league, two consecutive years when he was at Villa, that again is not a good sign for me.
“I’ll put it another way, he’s not a quick learner, all the top players are quick learners, Jack’s had a year and for me he’s not improved.”
Offers Of The Day
888sport – Get 100% Bonus up to £100* – CLAIM HERE
£/$/€10 min deposit using promo code “TOP100” • The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least twice with cumulative odds of 1.50 or greater • To withdraw any winnings from your bonus, you must wager the bonus amount up to 5 times • All deposit and bonus wagering requirements must be completed within 60 days • This offer may not be combined with any other offer • Wagering limit of £/$/€50 per bet Applies • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods and countries & full T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org
SEE MORE FREE BET OFFERS HERE