Jack Grealish has insisted he is unconcerned by criticism of his debut season with Manchester City but admits he plays ‘with a lot more freedom’ for England.
Despite winning the Premier League with Pep Guardiola’s side, the playmaker contributed just six goals and four assists in all competitions.
That, plus one goal for England in his 21 caps for his country, has raised questions about the output of the most expensive English player of all time after City paid Aston Villa £100million for him last summer.
But Grealish, who is likely to start Saturday’s Nations League clash with Italy after impressing off the bench in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Germany, stressed he is still a relative new-boy at the top level.
‘It don’t really bother me,’ he said when asked about his numbers.
‘I could have a lot more assists, even for England, I don’t know how many I’ve got and how many penalties I’ve won, maybe seven or eight. I feel I haven’t scored enough for England, I still feel I can score a lot more. I feel like I can get more goal involvements and hopefully I’ll do that next year.’
While the attacker says he loves playing under England boss Gareth Southgate, he blames himself for not producing better figures in the structured environment Guardiola provides.
‘I feel at times I’ve played a bit safe at City but when I come here I feel like even in training I train well. Score goals, get assists,’ he added.
‘When I come on, it’s hard to explain. I do feel I play with a lot more freedom here and hopefully I can transfer that into my club football and keep improving.’
Grealish, 26, claims he is inspired by winning his first title after City pipped Liverpool by a point.
‘That’s why I went to City, to win titles and honestly that was one of the best days ever,’ he said.
‘I feel happier and hopefully it’s a little bit of relief off my shoulders.’
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