EPL

Grealish accepts need to 'become more selfish' at City

By Sports Desk April 15, 2022

Jack Grealish has revealed his Manchester City team-mates have told him to become more selfish in front of goal.

England winger Grealish was a £100million signing for City at the start of the season but has scored just four goals in all competitions since leaving Aston Villa.

However, this is as much due to the 26-year-old's selfless play in front of goal as any wayward finishing.

Grealish has slightly underperformed his expected goals tally of 6.2, but he has attempted only one shot for every 30 touches on average.

Fellow winger Riyad Mahrez has averaged a shot every 17 touches, Gabriel Jesus every 19 touches, Raheem Sterling every 21 touches and Phil Foden every 23 touches.

Even Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, who can occasionally play in deeper roles, average shots every 24 and 27 touches respectively.

It is no surprise then that Grealish's City colleagues are calling on him to shoot more often.

"I shoot way less than anyone," he told BBC Sport. "I'm not even sure why, the guys say it here. Like say if I score in training, the lads are like, 'why don't you shoot more?'

"I probably should become more selfish. But I don't really count myself as a selfish player. If someone's in a better position I'm going to pass it to them.

"I actually love the feeling of having an assist – players coming over and thanking you for their goal. It's just nice. Scoring is the best feeling in football, but I just love assisting."

Yet Grealish has only supplied three assists this term – "I should definitely have more assists," he says – even if the deeper statistics are more forgiving.

He has created 66 chances, including 64 from open play; both rank third among City players. Those include nine 'big chances', from which Opta would expect a player to score, explaining his expected assists total of 5.9.

These numbers have been relayed to Grealish by the City staff, offering encouragement during a slightly tricky debut campaign.

"I can see why people [focus on goals and assists], but it's been so much different," he said.

"I sat down with the manager and the analyst guys from City, they've showed me stats that you want to see as an attacking player that aren't goals and assists – expected assists, passes in the final third, successful passes in the final third and stuff like this, where I've been quite successful in.

"I just need a few to fall my way and then they'll come."

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