Jack Grealish has apologised to Miguel Almiron and says he regrets making those “stupid” comments about the in-form Newcastle United forward.
Back in May, during Manchester City’s Premier League title parade, Grealish made a joke at Almiron’s expense when he was asked about the club’s win against Aston Villa on the final day.
He said: “There were two secrets… one, Riyad [Mahrez], take him off the pitch, as soon as possible. He played like [Miguel] Almiron. Number two, [pointing at Silva] he’s been so good this season, get him off the pitch.”
Grealish has since admitted that he got carried away after “a few drinks”.
In fact, in an interview with The Guardian from England’s World Cup training base in Qatar, Grealish opened up on his comments about Almiron for the first time.
“I haven’t actually been asked about that and let me just address it,” he said. “It was the day after the season finished and obviously I’d had a few drinks and stuff.
“Straight after that…because I didn’t realise, we were out celebrating and I wasn’t on my phone on social media. And then I remember I was in Ibiza and it had obviously come out.
“That was one thing I regret. When I said earlier that sometimes I do stupid stuff, that was one. I regret that. I swear, I’m actually buzzing the way he’s reacted.
“He said something about me in the interview the other day, he wished me the best. I thought ‘what a guy man’ because if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way.
“I’m actually buzzing for him, I’ve had a lot of stick off the Newcastle fans and rightly so. At the end of the day, they are backing their player which I fully understand. He seems like the most harmless, nice guy, so fair play, I’m buzzing for him.”
Grealish also confirmed he reached out to former Aston Villa teammate Matt Targett to pass on an apology to the Paraguayan, who has scored 10 goals in 20 games for club and country this season.
“Matt just said: ‘Jack, he’s a lovely kid, he’s harmless and he doesn’t speak a lot of English … he won’t really be bothered,” the 27-year-old said.
“I didn’t want to reply [to Almiron] on social media because you dig a bigger hole and I’ve been there with other stuff.”
As Grealish mentioned in his latest interview, Miguel Almiron was asked if those comments made at City’s title parade had inspired his recent run of form.
“I don’t think anything that Jack [Grealish] said has got anything to do with the great form and performances that we’ve been showing as a group of players,” Almiron told Sky Sports.
“Jack is a great player first and foremost and I wish him all the best, as I always do. But this success is down to work, more work and even more hard work.”
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe was even asked about Grealish’s comments on Almiron in October.
“I don’t think Miggy is motivated by anything other than trying to be his best for Newcastle and for the supporters, who absolutely love him and rightly so.
“…I don’t think I’ve noticed a difference in his character. He’s been very consistent – that’s a strength – he’s been very happy every day, very pleased to be part of the team, has very close friends within the squad.
“What I have noticed is a real confidence in his training, in his technical delivery of what we’re asking him to do – I think that’s definitely gone up a level.”