Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Manchester United Still In Pole Position To Land English Midfielder: What Will He Bring To Old Trafford?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by The Daily Mail, Manchester United are still expected to complete the capture of Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish in a deal worth up to £80m despite the player’s recent misdeeds off the pitch. The Villans playmaker was involved in a car accident following a late-night party in the middle of a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The police have launched an official investigation to look into the incident with the Red Devils expected to monitor every development regarding Grealish’s situation in the coming weeks (via The Daily Mail).

Grealish’s Sensational Rise At Villa Park In Recent Years

The English midfielder had enjoyed the best season of his football career after he put in a string of match-winning displays for Dean Smith’s team before the Premier League came to an abrupt halt due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Grealish has found the back of the net on nine occasions and provided eight assists in 31 appearances for the Villans this term on all fronts which highlight how influential he has been for his club going forward.

The 24-year-old has averaged 2.1 shots, 2.7 key passes and 2.2 dribbles per game in league football this season (stats via whoscored). Grealish’s stats have been exceptional in the English top-flight this season which has raised his stock significantly in the transfer market.

Despite making incredible progress over the past 18 months, Grealish is yet to earn his first senior cap for Gareth Southgate’s England national side. However, he would be expected to start for the Three Lions in the UEFA European Championship which has now been rescheduled to kick off at the end of next season.

Jack Grealish of Aston Villa prepares to take a free-kick during the Carabao Cup Final between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on March 01, 2020, in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

What Will The Villans Skipper Bring To The Theatre Of Dreams?

Grealish can use his quickness and agility to complete some dangerous dribbles in the opposition half. He has a low centre of gravity that allows him to make some clever turns and release some of his teammates on the break. The England Under-21 international has shown a lot of hunger to get on the ball and has been responsible for cooking up some decent goal-scoring chances for his side in the final third.

The talented playmaker is also quite tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 84.4% of his attempted passes in the English first division this season (stats via whoscored). He has the skillset to become a Premier League great if he can fulfil his true potential in the coming years. However, life won’t be easy for him at a top club like Man United, where he will be expected to perform at a high-level week in week out.

Grealish will not only add more goals and creativity to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield but also increase competition for places within his squad. He will be an upgrade over Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira. At the same time, the English midfield ace could potentially form a deadly attacking partnership with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood at the red half of Manchester.

His presence will allow the Norwegian manager to alter his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation and adopt a more fluid 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 set-up next season. Grealish is primarily an attacking midfielder but can also fill in on the flanks if required. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for the Red Devils to break the bank to land him before the start of the new campaign.

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