It’s a well-known fact that Solskjaer was not adequately backed by the board in the summer transfer window. As reported by Mark Ogden of ESPN back in October, Solskjaer’s prime transfer targets were Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish. And neither of those two world-class talents were brought to the Theatre of Dreams last transfer window.
The 2020-21 Premier League season has been an unusual one, with no team being able to find consistency from the get-go. Every team has had its share of forgettable fixtures thus far. Manchester United did struggle at the start of the season were quite evident. But ever since the loss at home to Arsenal, they have come back strongly with an unbeaten run of 10 games, 8 wins and 2 draws. It is clear that the team is showing positive signs and heading in what seems like the right direction under Solskjaer.
Man United are now also sitting at the top of the table having joint-most points as much as rivals Liverpool. Thus, Solskjaer might just have earned the right to desired transfers in the upcoming transfer windows in January and later in the Summer.
How Grealish Caught Solskjaer’s Eye And Made to His “Transfer Targets List”
Jack Grealish has been consistently performing for quite some time now for Aston Villa. But he rose to fame only in the last season when Villa returned to the Top Flight after 3 seasons. Aston Villa was extremely inconsistent and defensively poor last season. However, Grealish was one of their few highlights of the season. He was regarded to be “their savior” who helped them survive in the Premiership.
But Most importantly, he came to Solskjaer’s notice when Villa came up against United at Old Trafford last season. The game ended in a 2-2 draw in which Grealish scored a stunning early opener for the visitors. It was a world-class curling top right corner finish which gave David De Gea absolutely no chance. Besides the goal, Grealish also drew a lot of fouls with his naturally flawless dribbling and created a fair bit of chances.
The Aston Villa Saviour’s Insane Stats Last Season and This Season
Grealish had an amazing 2019-20 season, scoring 10 goals and assisting 8 in all competitions in an otherwise lackluster Villa side. And continuing the impressive form, just halfway through this season, he already has 6 goals and 7 assists in all competitions.
As per the data on Understat, his Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Assists (xA) stats per 90 minutes have been quite impressive as well. His xG and xA for last season as well as this season were :
- 2019-20 : xG – 0.19 xA – 0.21
- 2020-21 : xG – 0.28 xA – 0.48
Why The Transfer Failed to Materialize Last Summer
As reported by the Daily Mail, Jack Grealish’s transfer to Man United was quite close to a done deal. He had already told his friends and relatives that he was going to the club of his dream. But even though he agreed to the personal terms with United, the deal did not happen because of Villa’s £65 million price tag.
United wasn’t willing to spend that much at that point in time. Thus they went on to buy a cheaper alternative in Ajax’s Donny Van De Beek for £40 million instead. But in hindsight, that move now seems not at all as impactful as Grealish would have been.
An Increased Asking Price But Transfer Still On The Cards
As of now, as per transfermarkt, Villa has increased the price tag of Grealish even higher to a whopping £100 million. But with the value that Grealish brings to the table, it would still be worth a go for United.
He provides so many different qualities with his versatility, creativity, and footballing intelligence to the team. He offers versatility in terms of playing position as well as role. He can play as an attacking midfielder, left winger, false nine, and central midfielder. And now, especially with the progress Solskjaer has made thus far, he deserves to get Grealish.
Admiration For The Player By Former Reds
Former reds, now turned football pundits, like Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, etc. have expressed admiration for Grealish multiple times.
Recently on his YouTube Channel named “FIVE”, Ferdinand openly urged United to sign Grealish. He also went on to say, “I don’t care if Pogba goes or not, Grealish is my man”. Thus it is quite evident that Grealish is not only wanted by Solskjaer, but also by his fellow ex-United mates.
In conclusion, we can all agree that Grealish to United has consistently been quite a hot topic since last September. Even though the transfer fell through back then, there are still high chances that the supreme talent could attract United. And with United joining in the title race, you never know who they might land next summer.