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Pep Guardiola backs Jack Grealish to go to another level after Man City move

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Pep Guardiola has told Jack Grealish he can take his game to the next level at Manchester City.

And the Spaniard reckons a combination of his coaching skills and Grealish's huge talent could prove to be a match made in heaven for the reigning Premier League champions.

Grealish has become the most expensive player in British football history after joining City from Aston Villa in a stunning £100m deal.

He will wear the No.10 shirt made iconic by Sergio Aguero – and Guardiola has no doubts Grealish has what it takes to live up to all the hype and expectation he will now have to shoulder at the Etihad.

Grealish has penned a six-year deal that will cover the peak years of his career and Guardiola believes the 25-year-old can go on to become an even bigger star on his new stage.

Guardiola said: "He has many positions with his quality, and I don't have any doubts he will suit the way we play, with his desire to be a top, top professional and a better player than he already is.

"He has arrived with an incredibly positive mind and he is ready to start to settle in the team.

"He wants to get to know the players and the staff and provide for us for the next six years. He still has some of the best years of his career after making an exceptional contribution at Aston Villa. He can get to another level with us."

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Guardiola, who will start with Grealish on the bench ahead of Saturday's Community Shield clash with Leicester at Wembley, admits he has been a fan of the attacking midfielder ever since he first clapped eyes on him.

He said: "I liked him from the first time I saw him playing. Years ago, when I saw him for the first time. Then it wasn't possible (to sign him) as we had to invest in other parts.

"But when I saw him on TV I said he controls the tempo and rhythm. When we played against him, the physicality, the way he fought against opponents, I like many things that we saw and that's why we got him.

"Txiki (Begiristain, Director of Football) was in love with him, and that's why we tried. We could do it because we could sell, otherwise he'd still be playing for Villa."

Guardiola believes the arrival of Grealish will make some of his new team-mates have to raise their games as City look to push on, win even more trophies and create a dynasty under the Spaniard.

Guardiola, who will be without injured duo Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden for the game against the Foxes, added: "We have spent on him because he can play the next five or six years here – and he is an incredible talent.

"In the last four or five years we have won a lot, especially in the Premier League, with three of the last four titles.

"We need new players. Not many, but a few players that can raise the level of the players that are already here.

"After winning a lot of titles it can be difficult for players to take the step forward, so that's why they need pressure with players like Jack arriving here."

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  • Manchester City FC
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