Was Jack Grealish's first season at Manchester City a flop?
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Was Jack Grealish's first season at Manchester City a flop?

Was Jack Grealish's first season at Manchester City a flop?

Sometimes when I think of topics I am not sure exactly if my information bubble is correct and representative of the wider opinions that are held by others.

I think one of those is that I perceive that "people" think that Jack Grealish's first season since his big transfer to Manchester City was a flop. I think that this is a very interesting question that goes into what people expect when a player makes a move like this.

On a base level his stats don't show a massive difference between Aston Villa and Manchester City.

What I think people see from this is around that major counting stats for him.

He went from 8 and 6 goals in his last two seasons at Aston Villa to just 3 at Manchester City. He went from 6 and 10 assists in his last two seasons at Aston Villa to just 3 at Manchester City.

The minutes played in these seasons is pretty close as well (more minutes 2 years ago but very close last and this year) so it isn't a case of people not accounting for minutes shifts or not adjusting for per 90.

Instead, I think that this is something that shows a bit of the reflection that variation between seasons is not always something that a player can control.

His Goals plus Assists per 90 went 0.39, 0.66, 0.28 while his expected goals plus expected assists per 90 went 0.37, 0.53, 0.52.

Basically, he went from a good player in 2019/20 who basically had his production match his expected output, to a player who made a pretty significant jump into very good status but had is production outpace his expected performance. His move to Manchester City saw his expected production hold steady but the actual production drop.

If his production had been 6 goals and 7 assists he might still have seen questions about if he was worth his transfer price but I think he would probably hear less about being a flop.

I think that this misses that he is still an incredibly valuable player to Manchester City with his ability to progress the ball into the box, yes it would be great if he added more goals to his game because that is really what would drive him from a very good wide player into an elite wide player.

Among wide players last season he added a ton of value increasing Manchester City's probability of scoring with his on-ball actions.

So to answer the question that started this article, is he a flop?

I don't think so, but I think that it does really depend on what expectations you had for him. He basically replicated his production at Manchester City that he produced at Aston Villa. He did so while he was a much smaller part of the team and not the main focal point of the team's attack. He also did not take the leap that maybe some expected (I sort of fell into this camp thinking that he could take the next step towards being an Eden Hazard level player with his impact) but I think that there wasn't anything to suggest that is significantly less likely.

Manchester City seems to be putting more eggs in his basket with the departure of two attackers that he had to split time with last season, suggesting they see big things for him. I think I agree with this as well.