Men's Team

Wright-Phillips: Grealish the closest to Gazza I've seen

Shaun Wright-Phillips says Jack Grealish is the closest player to Paul Gascoigne that he has seen.

The England legend is widely considered to be one of the most talented footballers this country has produced.


Blessed with grace, style and an exceptional confidence in his own ability, he was a match-winner who could change the game in an instant with his eye for the spectacular.

Grealish is certainly of a similar mould, as he evidenced with a wonderful solo goal in the 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on his Champions League debut to continue his fine start to life at the Etihad Stadium.

Wright-Phillips is not the first to compare the two playmakers, with Wayne Rooney, Troy Deeney and Tim Sherwood all expressing similar views and the former City winger believes our new No.10’s self-belief is vital to the team.

“I love to watch him play,” he said on the RB Leipzig edition of Matchday Live.

“When he was at Villa, he was, for me, the closest thing you’re going to get to Paul Gascoigne. Once he gets more comfortable the more and more of it we’re going to see.

“You can have two players on him but he’ll find the way through to create that chance.

“The way teams play against City, where they sit back a lot, you need that cute player who, no matter how many players you put round them, he still thinks he can beat all of them. I think you need that.

“The one thing Pep is going to bring to his game is that he doesn’t need to be the one to do it all the time.

“There’s others in the team who can do that as well, maybe not the way he does it, but in a different way.”

Ferran Torres is another player who has impressed Wright-Phillips in the opening weeks of the new season.

Signed as a right-winger, the Spaniard has excelled in the middle of City’s front three and netted an impressive brace in the 5-0 victory over Arsenal earlier this month.

It remains to be seen whether Pep Guardiola will make the positional switch permanent but Wright-Phillips is convinced Torres has all the tools to succeed as a striker.

“It’s definitely a hard transition, but what he gives City when he plays up there isn’t just hard work, it’s the spaces he runs into,” he added.

“He is so clinical. He finishes like a striker. He takes that extra touch. He has such a striker mentality.

“I can understand why he made that transition [from wing to forward] so smoothly. He’s honestly got a lot more to come and I’m so looking forward to seeing it.”

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