Jack Grealish will prove a good signing for Manchester City, says David James, even if the former England goalkeeper remains unsure whether the playmaker has lived up to his record-breaking price tag.
Grealish became the most expensive British transfer of all time when he moved to the Premier League champions from Aston Villa for £100million last year.
While the 26-year-old has not been at the sparkling best he showed during his time at Villa, he has made 31 appearances across all competitions, starting 26 times.
Those appearances have yielded only four goals, with Pep Guardiola happy to utilise Grealish as a rotation option, with City still in with a chance of a domestic and European treble.
Though Grealish’s price tag hangs over his head, ex-City man James believes helping deliver more silverware will make the transfer worthwhile.
“You can’t ignore the money,” James told Stats Perform. “But there wouldn’t be a value or a price tag which would arguably justify either way whether it was a good or bad signing.
“Grealish has been heavily involved in Manchester City’s games this season. [They are] top of the league, [in the] quarter-finals of the Champions League and semi-finals of the FA Cup.
“Jack Grealish has been involved in that. He’s part of the team which has been very successful at the moment. It’s a good signing.”
Grealish directly contributed to 16 Premier League goals last season at Villa (six goals, 10 assists), but that figure stands at just four so far this term (two goals, two assists).
He crafted 81 chances in total last season in the top flight, at an average of 3.3 per 90 minutes. That has dropped to 43 so far this season (2.5 per 90).
But James believes the switch has shown new shades to Grealish’s game, such as having to become more of a team player in a squad packed with stars.
“The thing that I like more about Jack is that there’s a different side to his game than what he had [at] Aston Villa,” he added.
“As influential as he was, it was almost like they needed Jack to make Aston Villa work. [City] don’t need in the same sense. They don’t need Jack at Manchester City for Man City to work.
“He has to be part of the bigger team, which I think he’s done successfully. I think he’s been a successful signing.
“If City are to win the league, [if] they are to win the Champions League [and if they are] to win the FA Cup, then a big part of that will be Jack Grealish being in the club.”