Manchester City

Gareth Southgate on how Jack Grealish has improved at Manchester City

Jack Gallagher
Grealish won the Premier League
Grealish won the Premier League / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

England manager Gareth Southgate has discussed Jack Grealish's tactical improvements since joining Manchester City, stating that the forward has 'learned a lot' at the Etihad Stadium.

Grealish has been called up by Southgate for this June's Nations League clashes with Hungary, Germany and Italy, with the squad due to meet at St. George's Park on 30th May. Having been hounded for not starting Grealish during Euro 2020, some have now begun to question Southgate's actual selection of the forward for the upcoming games.

Southgate discussed this and gave an insight into how the Man City forward feels after he collecting his first Premier League winners' medal.

"It's interesting that I spent the whole summer getting hammered for not picking him, now I'm being told I shouldn't be picking him. But that's my world," Southgate said.

"That's quite transient with lots of different players. I imagine there would have been some anxiety about going there and not winning a trophy. He's now done that so I'm sure he'll feel a little bit calmer. He would have hated the accusation that he had gone there and not won anything."

Southgate discussed Grealish's improvements in recent years too, stating: "He's learned a lot positionally. Tactically, his working without the ball has improved over a period of 18 months. At Villa it was quite unique, he was the one who gave them hope, got them up the pitch, had total freedom with what he did.

"It's a very different ask at this club, more aligned with what we've asked him to do.

"He is that free spirit, as we've seen over the last 48 hours, that just wants to enjoy his football as well. He is what he is. If you'd said to me he's not going to score 20 goals this year, I wouldn't have expected that. He's the one who likes to be the provider, who might play a pass before the assist, he's a different type of player.

"Whether he adds getting on the far post, like Raheem [Sterling] has done over a number of seasons, maybe he will, maybe he won't, but I don't know if that's how he's wired. He gets as much enjoyment out of creating as he does scoring.

“I’ve discussed Jack’s ­season through the year with him. He spoke really interestingly after the last game of the season and highlighted how he saw it and the issues he found."