Man City: Grealish told ‘obvious choice’ if Guardiola eyes sale as ‘talks open’ with Arsenal target

Jason Soutar
Jack Grealish should sign for Aston Villa if Man City want to sell him, says Michael Owen
Jack Grealish should sign for Aston Villa if Man City want to sell him, says Michael Owen

Jack Grealish should re-join Aston Villa if Manchester City want to sell him this summer, according to former England striker Michael Owen.

The England winger joined Manchester City from the Villans for £100million in the summer of 2021.

He has provided 32 goal contributions in 125 appearances for the Premier League champions, which is a pretty disappointing return.

Grealish was outstanding as the main man at Aston Villa, given the freedom to express himself under Dean Smith.

The 28-year-old has become a cog in the system at the Etihad, which means he is nowhere near as direct and risky in possession these days.

Pep Guardiola is all about retaining possession and wants Grealish to do just that, often carrying the ball down the left flank before passing backwards to an open team-mate.

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The incredible success the ex-Villa captain has had at City has softened the blow of not playing as expressively, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Champions League, playing a big part in the club’s historic Treble win last season.

Minutes have not come as Grealish would hope in 2023/24 though, sparking talk of a summer exit.

Man City winger Grealish should pick Villa over Spurs – Owen

Amidst links to Tottenham, Owen has claimed that the England international should only consider a return to Aston Villa if City want rid.

“If City want to part ways with him and he’s accepting of that, then Villa would be the obvious choice for Grealish. I could see that,” Owen told BoyleSports.

“I think he is unique, he looks like he loves it at City so you might have to prize him away as he’s winning trophies. And he’s such a good person he won’t give you any trouble if he’s playing or not. I really admire Jack. I’d be surprised if he left.”

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Should Villa take back their former captain? Join the debate here.

Owen continued: “At Villa, he used to pick up the ball, run the length of the pitch, invariably win a foul, Villa would put the ball down, the big guys would come up, they would send the ball in and it would be a set piece.

“Everything went through him. City don’t want to be fouled, if they get fouled they cannot kick the ball fast enough to start play again, they don’t want to cross the ball from wide areas for their big players.

“It actually slows them down. When Jack is in really good form it is when he does things really quickly. It is a different style and he has had to adapt. He’s a unique player in what he does and he would really suit teams in how they want to play. But it won’t suit other teams who play quickly on the counter.”

Man City ‘open talks’ with former youngster wanted by Arsenal, Man Utd

Meanwhile, it has been reported by HITC that Man City have ‘opened talks’ to sign Bayer Leverkusen right-wing-back Jeremie Frimpong.

The Dutch international was on the books at City between 2010 and 2019 but never made a first-team appearance for the club.

He joined Scottish giants Celtic in September 2019 before earning a move to Bayer Leverkusen in 2021, for whom he has been outstanding.

Having provided 26 goal contributions in 44 matches across all competitions for the Bundesliga-winning-invincible-treble-chasing outfit, he is again wanted by the Citizens.

The HITC report says City have ‘spoken to Frimpong about a potential return’, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Aston Villa ‘also in the race’.

Frimpong’s £34m release clause makes him a very attractive signing, with Real Madrid ‘on the player’s trail’.

This is absolutely one to watch this summer.

More: Man CityFive-year net spend tableJack Grealish