Keane calls on Grealish to ‘grow up’ in ‘crunch time’ for City

Date published: Wednesday 2nd March 2022 10:08 - Will Ford

Roy Keane in the stands during a match

Roy Keane urged Jack Grealish to “grow up” ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup win over Peterborough on Tuesday.

Grealish has struggled at times this season at City following his move from Aston Villa in the summer, which made him the most expensive British player in history.


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The England international has shown his quality in glimpses but faces fierce competition for a starting spot in Pep Guardiola’s team.

And ahead of the game at London Road, Keane suggested Grealish’s “off-field stuff” is harming his relationship with both Guardiola and England boss Gareth Southgate.

“I think it’s crunch time for Man City over the next few months,” Keane said on ITV. “This is where you will really test as a player, crunch games.

“Jack’s had a few injury problems, [and has] probably been criticised a little bit for his off-field stuff but I think what Jack has to do is grow up and get the trust of Pep.

“He probably hasn’t got that yet, same with England, I don’t think Gareth [Southgate] trusts him that much yet.

“[It’s a] good opportunity for him [against Peterborough]. Whatever Jack’s doing off the field, it does take its toll when you’re an attacking player, it’s another opportunity for Jack. I do think it’s about time he grew up.”

Grealish scored a stunning goal in City’s 2-0 win on Tuesday, and Guardiola has frequently praised his performances, insisting the club didn’t buy him to score a hatful of goals.

“The statistics are better or similar to Aston Villa in terms of ball contact,” City’s manager claimed. “We didn’t buy him to score 45 goals. He doesn’t have that quality — he has another one.

“Players today play for the statistics, but this is the biggest mistake they can do.”

New signings often take time to settle under Guardiola, but he believes Grealish has shown enough.

“Jack is playing well, if he wasn’t I would tell him,” he added.

 

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