In a British record transfer deal, Manchester City on Wednesday reportedly completed the signing of Aston Villa star midfielder Jack Grealish for £100 million.
The English playmaker has long been touted to grab a move away from the Birmingham club and Manchester City too were desperate to land the player. Grealish will be an incredible addition to an already stacked attacking midfielder lineup for the Sky Blues — that includes Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.
Born in Birmingham, Grealish, a lifelong Aston Villa fan, started out at the Highgate United Youth Club but joined the Premier League club as a six-year-old.
His great-great-grandfather, Billy Garraty, was also a footballer, who earned one England cap and won the 1905 FA Cup Final with Aston Villa.
In 2013, Grealish was sent on loan to League One club Notts County. At the club, he played valuable minutes and racked up five goals and seven assists in 38 appearances.
At the end of his loan with Notts County, Grealish returned to Aston Villa and made his club debut on 7 May, coming on as an 88th-minute substitute in a 4–0 away defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League.
And what followed was a meteoric rise for the young English midfielder, who kept making the headlines for his actions on the field as well as off the field.
In the 2019-2020 season, Grealish showcased that he was ready for big things at the Premier League level. His playing style has been compared to that of football legend Luis Figo by manager and pundit Jose Mourinho.
Grealish has the unique ability to attract defenders, which allows his teammates to run into space. He has silky smooth skills on the ball and very shrewd movements off it too.
The 25-year-old has been instrumental in Aston Villa’s rise in the Premier League. In spite of being injured for a major chunk of the season, Grealish snapped up 6 goals and 12 assists last season.
His flamboyant persona and playing style has made him a fan favourite not only in Birmingham but across the country. However, the player has often been in the news for the wrong reasons — including violation of COVID-19 protocols, rash driving and violent conducts on field.