It’s been a year since Aston Villa rocked the footballing world, beating then Premier League champions Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park.

The Reds didn’t even have the excuse for the lack of great defensive players, with center-back Virgil van Dijk playing the full 90 minutes.

.

Aston Villa stunned Liverpool in the game at Villa Park and Jack Grealish was at the center of it

.

Not for the first time this season, Grealish has been hooked by Guardiola

Jack Grealish, Villa captain at the time, surprised Liverpool’s baseline and was involved in five of their seven goals that day – scoring two and assisting three.

Fast forward 12 months and it’s fair to say the 26-year-old didn’t impress in the same way he did when he faced Liverpool this time around.

Playing for Manchester City, Grealish had no shots on target and 27 touches of the ball yesterday, compared to his two goals and 49 touches last year.

Pep Guardiola had positioned his £ 100million signing as a false nine, but despite Grealish blocking a curling effort in the 15th minute and having typical moments of flair, it didn’t make an impact on the game and was replaced by Raheem Sterling just past the hour mark.

It wasn't all bad as Grealish made his dream Champions League debut as Man City beat RB Leipzig at the Etihad

.

It wasn’t all bad as Grealish made his dream Champions League debut as Man City beat RB Leipzig at the Etihad

Grealish’s start to life at the Etihad has by no means been a poor one, consistently making the starting XI for the Premier League champions and scoring twice since signing this summer.

However, the brilliance of his performances for Villa and even England at Euro 2020 was not quite reflected in his displays for the Manchester outfit, leaving fans and pundits wondering if the former Villa man is worth the money spent on him.

In August, City superfan Liam Gallagher was unconvinced of the cost of signing his club again, saying Phil Foden was worth more than £ 500million if that’s the going rate for Grealish.

But why couldn’t Grealish be able to start his career at City like everyone thought?

Following the departure of club hero Sergio Aguero at the end of last season, it is possible that City’s lack of a traditional striker played a role in Grealish’s frustration.

The City ace himself has said he prefers to operate in a central attacking midfielder role, despite his abilities to play on the wing.

Rumors that Harry Kane was joining the club had clearly helped attract Grealish to sign.

“I don’t think there is anyone better in the world to play with in front of you than Harry Kane,” he said before leaving his childhood club.

Imagine how good City would be if they had Grealish and his England teammate Harry Kane?

.

Imagine how good City would be if they had Grealish and his England teammate Harry Kane?

It is then likely that Kane’s decision to stay at Tottenham may have had an impact on Grealish given his preferred style of play, especially since he played at the forefront in City’s preparation against Liverpool.

There was a reason then why Guardiola was so keen on expressing how irreplaceable the Aguero was at the end of last season.

It is also likely that Grealish’s poor start to the season was due to his inexperience playing for a very demanding Premier League side.

This view was shared by Roy Keane. “Jack has had a difficult week with his performances,” he told Sky Sports, referring to the club’s loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. “People like Jack are still learning”.

Grealish only touched the ball 29 times in his 66 minutes on the pitch, fewer than any of his teammates as he struggled to find a way around the defense.

.

Grealish only touched the ball 29 times in his 66 minutes on the pitch, fewer than any of his teammates as he struggled to find a way around the defense.

However, Keane had little sympathy for the player.

“He is 26 years old and has to adapt,” he added, stressing the stakes. “You are here to win big prizes. “

Despite the doubts surrounding him, Grealish’s team-mate Riyad Mahrez said City’s new signing “fits in well”.

The winger, who has not started a game for City since their loss to Tottenham on Matchday 1, said: “He plays in a lot of games, of course, which makes his integration easier. When I arrived, I didn’t play all of the games right away.

Grealish discovers the scrutiny of a big money move, as evidenced by when he faced Lionel Messi during the week

.

Grealish discovers the scrutiny of a big money move as evidenced when he faced Lionel Messi during the week

It’s clear Guardiola is confident his record signing has the talent to be successful at Manchester City.

England manager Gareth Southgate also seems to reflect that belief, choosing Grealish from his squad to face Andorra and Hungary in their next two World Cup qualifiers.

Looking back and comparing the Grealish who faced Liverpool last year with yesterday’s Grealish and his prize, questions will naturally be asked.

But with just six Premier League games played so far this season, he certainly has plenty of time to prove his worth as he continues to learn under the legendary Guardiola.

Download talkSPORT Edge NOW!

It’s the free soccer app that lets you stay one step ahead of your friends with short, precise, and shareable content.

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more