Skip to main content

"I Knew Some People Would Be Unhappy" - Man City Star Discusses Summer Transfer From Boyhood Club

Manchester City's Jack Grealish has talked about how difficult it was to leave his boyhood club Aston Villa - after some of his former fans booed him on his return to Villa Park.

Jack Grealish started the season as a regular in Manchester City's starting eleven, but due to injury problems, the Englishman has been restricted to involvement off the pitch in recent weeks. 

Grealish has admitted that his return of two goals and three assists is less than he was expecting, as he gets used to playing in a completely different environment this season. 

Manager Pep Guardiola, though, believes that City fans will see the best of Grealish before his debut season is up. Expectations are already lofty after the big-money move for a player who lit up the Premier League with Aston Villa.

Despite everything he did for his boyhood club, Jack Grealish was booed by sections of the home support, when he appeared as a substitute in Wednesday night's 2-1 win at Villa Park.

But in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph this week, the 26-year-old revealed that he was well aware some fans wouldn't give him a warm reception.

I knew some people would be unhappy when I left, and I can see why some were like that, but I gave my all for the club every single year I was there," Grealish said.

"At the end of the day I’m Jack Grealish from Solihull who loves the Villa. That will never change - I’ve had a season ticket since I was four and been a fan my whole life."

Read More

Grealish scored his first Manchester City goal in his first home appearance, helping the club to a 5-0 thrashing of Norwich.

His quotes, though, have shed some more light on just how difficult the transition away from his old club was. 

You can’t imagine how hard it was for me to leave... I went for a run in the morning, a load of people took photographs of me and it was all on social [media] that I was staying."

Grealish continued, “I came back and had to address all the players and staff. There were about 70 people there. I spoke for about a minute-and-a-half, then I had to stop because I had a lump in my throat and was crying."

I was a bit surprised by some of the backlash when I left. I’d never want a toxic relationship with anyone there. I owe everything to them and I wouldn’t be at City without Villa.”

On the clause that saw his team receive a hefty compensation for his departure, Grealish said, "We all agreed on the clause and if any team hit that, it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an unbelievable season and Villa got £100 million.

The Birmingham club reinvested that £100m on three top class players, but it wasn't enough to stop sections of the Villa Park faithful from jeering Grealish on his return.

You can follow us for live updates here: @City_Xtra