Graeme Souness has hit out at Manchester City and England winger Jack Grealish, who is being put “under pressure” by Jeremy Doku.
The Treble winners spent around £55m in the summer to sign Doku from Ligue Un outfit Rennes.
The electric winger has been favoured by Pep Guardiola over Grealish at the start of this season as the Man City head coach is allowing him to be himself and attack defenders with his pace.
Grealish meanwhile has become a more complete winger in recent years. While his defensive work has progressed, he has not scored goals on a consistent enough basis.
Doku has seven goal involvements in 11 Premier League appearances this term, while Grealish only has a goal and an assist in his eight outings.
Before City’s 3-3 draw against Tottenham on Sunday, Souness claimed Grealish needs to take a “close look at himself” after slipping behind Doku in the pecking order. The pundit has now argued that the Englishman is “not doing enough”.
“He’s scored one goal and one assist this year for City, a team that dominates the ball, a team that’s always on the front foot, a team that scores goals,” Souness said on talkSPORT.
“That ain’t enough, it’s just not enough. I think the first thing he has to do is have a conversation with the manager and say, ‘What do you think?’ If you’re a big player you want to be starting every single game, every single moment you want to be on the pitch.
“So if he’s now no longer the go-top guy, that’s a conversation only him and the manager can have. I think he’s under pressure. I have to say I’m not his biggest fan, I think he’s flattered to deceive. Put it another way, you put Jack on the market tomorrow. who’s buying him for how much?”
Souness also reckons Grealish is less “influential” than Doku, who is putting his City teammate “under pressure”.
“He’s a rascal, I bet he’s great to have a night out with,” Souness added: “We’re having this conversation for one reason and one reason only about Doku, who’s come in and shown right now he’s more influential than what Jack is.
“I was brought up to believe that, if you’re having touches of the ball then you’re not seeing the pitch early enough.
“A top player, like Paul Scholes, when he’s not in possession of the ball himself and his teammates are passing it around.
“Every pass they make he’s thinking, ‘If it should come to me, where am I going to play it?’ and he’s looking to pop it off first time. His brain is working ten to the dozen. I think Doku is putting [Grealish] under pressure.”