Arsenal fans were enamoured by the skillset of Jack Grealish last year, with many creating a dream scenario in which the club would make a move for the England international. That didn’t come about though as Manchester City struck first, triggering his £100million release clause from Aston Villa.
Since then, questions have hovered over Grealish and his ability to find goals for the side, having regularly failed to influence a game by finding the back of the net. It led to the forward claiming he has to be more selfish to get himself in those position when speaking with BBC Sport in April.
“Obviously as an attacking player, you do want goals and assists. I know for one thing I should definitely have more assists. Goals – I think I need to get myself in goal scoring positions a little bit more but I know it’s not all about goals and assists. There are big games we’ve won and I feel like I’ve contributed.”
The winger plays a specific role in Pep Guardiola’s team, where his ball-carrying ability has made him a specialist while staying extremely wide on the left. His impact over the past year could go from being a dream signing for Arsenal to their worst nightmare, should he impact the title race.
However, the Gunners have their “own Grealish” in the form of youngster Bukayo Saka. The 21-year-old plays a slightly similar role on the right flank for his side, though with more rotations that allow him to take up positions inside the box to be able to score from.
It could be one of the key reasons why Saka actually has a better goals and assists record than his £100million counterpart, registering 21 goals and 21 assists in the Premier League at such a young age compared to Grealish who is in his prime and has 19 goals and 20 assists in the division so far.
It suggests that the dream scenario need not be real, with Saka already providing a similar function on the right with a better intuition for finding the back of the net.