Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has discussed the impact England international Jack Grealish could have for arch-rivals Manchester City.
Grealish enjoyed a superb campaign for Aston Villa last time around, despite spending a pretty significant period sidelined with a shin injury.
The 25-year-old shed any rust he may have been carrying ahead of Euro 2020 and looked as sharp as ever during multiple effective Three Lions cameos.
Grealish now looks set to take the next step forward in his career, with a move to Manchester City on the cards, CaughtOffside understands.
CaughtOffside exclusively reported last month that Man City had struck an £88m agreement with Aston Villa, with the deal having been in place for some time.
The player is currently on holiday in Croatia, but is expected to sign a five-year contract with Man City upon his return.
Man City were Premier League champions and Champions League finalists last term. To add Grealish to their ranks is a real statement of intent.
That view is echoed by former Man United midfielder Luke Chadwick, who thinks highly of Grealish as a player, and even goes as far as drawing parallels to the great Lionel Messi in terms of playing style.
“I think Grealish is a world, world-class player, or is set to become a world, world-class player. The way he plays suits City’s style really well, the way he draws defenders to him and then can split balls in and get the ball switched out the other way to create space.”
“I obviously wouldn’t compare him to someone like Lionel Messi but the way that Messi played for Guardiola at Barcelona, where he was the dribbler, the one that would take a chance, beat a player and then move the ball quickly, it really made them tick.”
“I think Grealish is the same sort of player, not at Messi’s level yet but can stay on the ball for long periods of time and really draw a large number of players to him.”
Of course, as much as a boost to Man City’s ambitions the arrival of Grealish would be, it’ll also be an immeasurable blow for his current employers Aston Villa.
Grealish is worshipped like a god at Villa Park, with his anticipated departure likely to send the whole fanbase into a state of mourning, irrespective of who they sign to replace him.
Chadwick, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside about the deal, revealed his belief that Villa can’t replace him, but he does think Grealish is making the right decision to move.
“He’s an icon at Aston Villa in terms of having come through at the club and he’s a hero there, so you can understand why it’s been kept under wraps.”
“I don’t think any amount of signings, obviously Buendia’s an excellent player, but it’s going to be tough to appease the fans because Grealish is more of less irreplaceable as a player and a person at Aston Villa I’d say.”
“I don’t think anyone would begrudge him for that move and I think it’s probably the right time. It’s a little bit disappointing that Man United weren’t in there and thereabouts, but Sancho’s a hugely talented player too.”
“It’s certainly exciting to see Grealish play at a top Premier League club, rather than a standout player at a mid-table club. Now he’s going to be playing with the very, very best, which will only accelerate his development.”
“It’ll be really interesting to see him fit into that squad at Manchester City. He’s a different player than they’ve got at the moment.”
Grealish earned himself plenty of admirers among the England fanbase over the summer. They’re not going to be best pleased to see him in a Man City shirt.
Though, as Chadwick says, Grealish will only benefit from playing alongside some of the best in the world, which will be a boost for England’s chances at Qatar 2022.