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Former Aston Villa captain Petrov: Man City move will put pressure on Jack

Manchester City has officially signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa on a £100 m Premier League record deal. According to former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, a record £100 million move will put pressure on Jack Grealish.

Following his high-value deal, Stiliyan Petrov believes Grealish will be compared to global superstars like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. England winger joined City from his boyhood club Aston Villa and made his debut from the bench in the Community Shield match on Saturday.

“Jack Grealish has become part of the Neymar 100 million, Mbappe 100 million, [Philippe] Coutinho [group],” ex-Villa captain Petrov, one of the founders of Player 4 Player, told Stats Perform. “So now he is not just a UK star and brand, now he’s become global. Now he’s become even bigger because now he is compared with one of the best.”

“All the eyes will be on Jack now. Jack has to understand that the hard work starts now. In a team like Manchester City, every single player there is a top player. So, you have to go there, you have to adjust your game, you have to be at the top of your game every single time.”

“If you don’t play well every single week, the next [player] is waiting for your spot. When [they take] over, sometimes it takes months before he comes out again because the team is so well drilled and they just win games. So, Jack has a huge challenge. But when you are a top player, when you are a player with his abilities, you are always willing to challenge yourself,” he added.

Petrov said: “He has got the ability to fit in any position. Pep Guardiola is a completely different manager from anybody else; he gets the quality of the player and he uses it in a completely different way. I could give you a premier example with Foden. Everybody says that the Foden position is in the middle and he plays on the left, the wide left, and the wide right. So, Jack Grealish will be the same. [Guardiola] will just develop and teach Jack Grealish to play in a number of positions.”

“Can Jack Grealish adjust to that? He can. Certainly. Because he has got the ability, he has got the knowledge and the awareness to do those positions. I believe when Pep Guardiola spoke to Jack Grealish, he would have told him how to play number of positions, how to develop his skills, his ability, but also how to fight to be one of the best players in the world.”

“And I believe that was what Jack was wanting: somebody to tell him that he is going to be in the spotlight, people will be talking about him. He needed more persuasion. That was what he needed. Just to show him that he can fight to be one of the best.”

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