Pep Guardiola has challenged Jack Grealish to copy Raheem Sterling and become as prolific as his new team-mate after opening his Manchester City account on his home debut.
Grealish became the first £ 100million player to score in the Premier League when he knelt in City’s second goal in a 5-0 loss to Norwich, securing the Champions a late first victory after going lost to Leicester in the Community Shield, then Tottenham last week.
Sterling came off the bench to score from a similar position at close range, with both goals coming via a Gabriel Jesus cross. Grealish has never scored more than 10 goals in a season, but Sterling’s best was 11 before he first played for Guardiola and he has scored 31 in 2019-20 and has 93 in the last four. seasons.
The city manager believes his record-breaking purchase has the potential to follow suit. “If he has the goal scoring mentality like Raheem, then yes,” Guardiola said. “Raheem, when I came here five years ago, didn’t have the goal in mind. This has changed. Today Raheem scored a goal as he came in central position as a No.9. There is a machine there. He changed his mind and decided he was going to score, score, score.
Guardiola also vowed that Jesus would keep his place after scoring three goals while operating as a right winger. The Brazil international has spent much of his career at City as a striker and understudy for Sergio Agüero, but prefers to play on the flanks.
Guardiola praised Jesus for his attitude, saying, “He deserves to keep playing. He is a player who likes to play wider than the central positions. He never complains. If he plays five minutes, he plays the best five minutes he can do. If he plays on the right, he is happy, if he plays central, he is happy, if he plays on the left, he is happy. I am so happy for Gabriel. It was an incredible and important performance for us. In life, he deserves the best because he’s so generous.
While City wait to see if they can sign Harry Kane from Tottenham, Guardiola is more likely to use Ferran Torres as a striker and Jesus as a winger in the future, although he said: “Both players can play in the three positions of the attack. It’s so good for the team.
He added a warning that City can still improve. “The result is the consequence of how many good things we have done,” he said. “We are still not in our top. Still, we have a lot to do.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke, whose side started with a 3-0 loss to Liverpool, criticized his side’s defense. Left-back Dimitris Giannoulis was substituted at half-time after failing to stop Jesus and Farke said: “If they play with confidence, City are the best team in the world. I’m a little disappointed with the way we conceded the goals.
“To concede the same goal four times is difficult. It was a difficult day for Dimi. In the first game he had to defend against Mo Salah who scored one goal and two assists – and after 20 minutes [today] his direct opponent Jesus got two assists.