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Guardiola backs struggling Man City star after tough season – ‘He’ll be back’

Pep Guardiola has backed Jack Grealish to return to form next season following a difficult 2023/24 campaign.

Grealish joined Manchester City from Aston Villa back in August 2021 for £100m, which at the time was the biggest transfer deal in British football history.

The defender quickly became a popular figure among City fans, scoring 11 goals and providing 15 assists in all competitions in his first two seasons with the club – winning two league titles and a treble in 2022/23.

However, this season has proved to be a tough one for the 35-time England international, who struggled with a hamstring injury earlier in the campaign and never recovered. Other fitness issues continued to plague him, as City went on to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Grealish finished 2023/24 with just three goals and three assists to his name in all competitions, while making just 10 Premier League appearances.

Back in April, Grealish admitted it had not been a good year.

“It was difficult (this season),” he told The Athletic. ‘Especially after last year, I had a good season. I was playing a lot and I was one of the main players in the team and I played in all the important games.

“This year, at the beginning of the season, I injured my leg, which made me sit for a month without playing regularly. I don’t think my form was the best and I wasn’t playing with a lot of confidence. In the new year, I had a few injuries in my back as well.”

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (R) welcomes Manchester City’s England midfielder #10 Jack Grealish (L) after substituting him during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium north west London on April 20, 2024.

Guardiola backs Grealish’s resurgence

Phil Foden’s impressive form and summer signing Jeremy Doku’s rapid rise to prominence have not helped Grealish this season.

However, the former Villa man has been backed by his manager, who is ‘confident’ he will regain his form from 2022/23 in the near future.

“He will come back,” said Guardiola (via BBC Sport).

“He has struggled this season and Jeremy has taken an amazing step as everyone has seen in previous games. But Jack will return to last season’s level, I’m sure.”

Despite his struggles, Grealish has been included in Gareth Southgate’s provisional squad for Euro 2024 and is expected to reach the final.

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