Men's Team

Dunne: The Etihad can be Grealish's playground!

Richard Dunne says Jack Grealish will take huge heart from opening his City goal account, and believes our exciting summer signing can turn the Etihad Stadium into his ‘playground’.

On what was his first appearance at home since joining City from Aston Villa earlier this month, the England attacking midfielder found the target midway through the first half in Saturday’s impressive 5-0 win over Norwich City.

With a full house back at the Etihad for the first time in 18 months, Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions were in irresistible form against the Canaries with a Tim Krul own goal and efforts from Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez rounding off the scoring.

Speaking on the latest edition of our Matchday Live show, former City skipper Dunne said Grealish’s goal was the perfect way to launch his City career on home soil.


And Dunne said he believed our Etihad home would prove to be the perfect creative platform for one of English football’s most outstanding natural talents.

“It will have been brilliant for him to make his home debut with all the fans back,” Dunne reflected.

“He will have been buzzing walking onto the pitch with the fans there. You need to be a special player to be part of the best squad in Europe.

“Jack will want to get the fans off their seats and this (the Etihad) will be his playground.

“That’s what he would have wanted - to be involved in some goal action.

“He was in the right place. That’s what you need and it’s about understanding what Pep wants and being in the places you need to be.”


Dunne’s glowing testimony as to the many qualities of the 25-year-old was echoed by Darren Huckerby, his fellow special guest on Saturday’s Matchday Live show.

For his part, the former City and Norwich striker said he was equally excited about the impact that Grealish can inject into Pep Guardiola’s squad.

“He has had that swagger since being a young kid, (now he has) taken it to the bigger stage. He just has to get goals and assists and the fans will take to him straight away,” Huckerby asserted.

“He has got off to a great start. Getting your first goal is really important and it makes it easier if you have 70% possession!

“We know his quality and for Jack it’s all about getting goals and creating assists.”