Pep Guardiola may never make better transfer deals than his £ 50million Championship of 2017 – Dominic Farrell

As is the case for any discussion about Manchester City right now, the topic of Jack Grealish was quickly on the agenda at Kyle Walker’s Tuesday press conference.

Grealish’s performance for the Blues has become an increasingly polarizing issue since his £ 100m UK record move from Aston Villa in August.

Either Grealish adapts commendably to Pep Guardiola’s demanding demands, or he is overwhelmingly massive and merely serves to highlight the Premier League champions’ deep need for a specialist center-forward.

Because Walker addressed members of the media before a Champions League match against Club Brugge and did not haggle over the latest hot bid on social media, he was able to set a more measured course when supporting his English team-mate.

“He has joined a new team with a new philosophy and a different style of play and different players,” said the defender. “People take time, people can react in different ways.

“The talent is there. He shows it day in and day out in training. I have been with him and had the pleasure of playing with him at an international level, and the way he holds the ball, his dribbles, attracts defenders, makes mistake … he’s great to see and I can assure you it’s a nightmare for defenders. Let’s just give him time. ”

An English player being mocked over a suspected inflated transfer fee is a situation Walker knows better than most. His £ 50million move from Tottenham to City in 2017 was accompanied by a lot of brouhaha.

In the four years since, the 31-year-old has won three out of four available Premier League titles and eight major honors in total. For England, he has been a mainstay in the races for the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the European Championship 2020 final, despite the fact that this is an era of unprecedented talent as a right-back for the Three Lions.

BRUGGE, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 19: Kyle Walker from Manchester City and Jack Grealish from Manchester City during Group A - UEFA Champions League match between Club Brugge KV and Manchester City at Jan Breydelstadion on October 19, 2021 in Bruges, Belgium.
If Jack Grealish needs a template for success in Man City, look no further than Kyle Walker

Walker is without a doubt one of the best players in the world in his position, not a prediction many would have been willing to make when he switched north London to east Manchester.

The most impressive aspect of his City career is not that he has played at a very high level, but that he has excelled in ways you would not have expected.

Already with the victory at Chelsea in September 2017, Walker was in the process of forming a hybrid back-three – far from the soaring, heady right-back known on White Hart Lane.

The full-throttle Walker still pops up from time to time, as when he scored his first Champions League goal against Bruges too late last time by stepping up to the center-forward position, but it is his versatility and adaptability that have made him a huge asset for club and country.

People like Raheem Sterling have struggled to reach top form on the other side of their European Championship efforts, but Walker is an exception among his English team-mates, as he has resumed somewhere close to his best.

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“I’m fine. For me, a big part of my game is my fitness and endurance and getting up and down the pitch,” he said.

“It’s like no holidays for me. I try to get in the gym as much as possible and keep up with my fitness, make sure I eat well so I can perform to the best of my ability on match day.”

For those who thought Walker and Guardiola would fit in uneasily when they first got together, the mantra of “no days off” could not make the reliable right-back and his football coach more alike.

Every close season tends to bring a new face to Eastlands for big money, but it’s hard to imagine any of the stars coming that exceed expectations to the extent Walker has at every turn.

If Grealish can adapt, develop and thrive to the extent that his countryman has, then people will soon also stop talking about his transfer fee.

Where do you think Kyle Walker is among Pep Guardiola’s best signings?? Follow Town Is our editor Dom Farrell on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.


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