Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t sign Jack Grealish during the summer transfer window because of concerns over where he’d fit in at the club, reports say. The England international was being eyed to provide competition for Bruno Fernandes. But the Red Devils ended up signing Donny van de Beek from Ajax instead.
Manchester United watched from afar as Grealish starred last term, with the England international managing to keep Villa in the Premier League for another year.
Since then he’s continued to shine for both club and country, recently starring as Arsenal were beaten 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Grealish is expected to play a big part for England at the European Championships next summer, with Gareth Southgate expected to include him in his squad for the competition on current form.
United chose to sign Van de Beek over the 25-year-old in the summer transfer window, securing the Dutchman’s signature for £40million.
Van de Beek has since struggled to make an impact in English football, while Grealish already has five goals and five assists for the campaign.
And the Manchester Evening News say United didn’t sign the Villa star because they didn’t know where he’d fit in.
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Meanwhile, despite Grealish improving drastically this term, former Fulham star Danny Murphy thinks he faces a fight to nail down a place in the England starting XI.
“Jack’s not even in the team yet, he is playing his way in.” Murphy said.
“The problem is with Jack is fitting into the way England set up and the treatment that Gareth gives his players is he is loyal.
“He is more favourable to the players who have been with him in the last couple of years. It takes a lot to oust a player in the England team at moment – you see that with the goalkeeping situation for example.
“Our most talented players are in attacking areas so it’s difficult for Jack at the moment. But the way he is playing you could argue there comes a point where he has got to get him in.”
Villa boss Dean Smith thinks Grealish can get even better.
He said: “Obviously we’ve come across Sterling a number of times and everyone can see what a top player he is. He is scoring 20 goals each season.
“Jack knew when I first came in he had to improve his goalscoring and his assist record. He’s doing that now, he’s playing higher up.
“Now we want him higher up the pitch in the Premier League and he’s shown what he is capable of doing.
“I didn’t hear Gareth’s interview but I can only talk about working with Jack and he’s a player who wants to keep pushing himself and getting better. It is great to have a local lad who supports the club.”
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