Manchester United have been dealt a devastating blow after one of their top transfer targets showed exactly why the Red Devils should have signed him this summer…
Jack Grealish dazzled on his England debut as Gareth Southgate’s side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 over Wales.
The Aston Villa captain impressed during his long overdue start for the Three Lions, after appearing as a substitute in the previous international break.
However, the 25-year-old has since committed his future to his boyhood club by signing a new five-year deal, despite plenty of speculation suggesting that he’d be on the move.
Speaking to Sky Sports after Dean Smith’s side beat Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup, Grealish admitted it was a close call.
“Yeah I suppose it was. I had a good season last season, there was interest, but I believe everything happens for a reason and I’ve happened to sign a new contract here, and I’ve got the biggest smile on my face.”
Now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may regret missing out on the midfielder when he had the chance to sign him in the transfer window.
This has been brewing for a while now.
After a shaky start to his international career, the playmaker has often divided opinion, but if there’s anyone that can get the best out of an attacking midfielder then it surely has to be Solskjaer instead of Dean Smith, who was a tenacious defender during his playing days.
Grealish has enjoyed great success against United in recent times, having opened the scoring in the 2-2 draw in December last year. He ran riot over the Red Devils, winning eight out of nine ground duels, whilst registering a pass accuracy rating of 91% and taking 59 touches of the ball, as per SofaScore.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown praised his “magnificent” man of the match performance before adding: “The way he wants the ball in every situation, holding it, he is powerful, he has got that quality on the ball.”
Solskjaer has settled for a first-choice front three of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood but the decision to only sign Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek in the summer means he is short of options, as Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata have struggled to convince their critics.
The £36m-rated Grealish, who can play in the centre or on the left, would have added some much-needed creativity and versatility.
This season, he has played in 3 games in the Premier League, scoring 3 goals and supplying 3 assists, whilst averaging 3 shots, 3.3 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
Daniel James has failed to score or supply a single assist and only managed one shot per game, by comparison.
You can’t help but feel like United could live to regret their decision as their transfer window was hit-and-miss, at best.