Jack Grealish urged to learn from Chelsea legend if he joins Man Utd

Jack Grealish must learn from Chelsea legend Michael Ballack if he joins a club like Manchester United, claims former Arsenal forward Paul Merson. Aston Villa captain Grealish is linked with a move to United in the next transfer window. The 24-year-old has had a fine season back in the Premier League in an otherwise struggling Villa side.

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness believes Grealish holds on to the ball too long when he has it, something Merson agrees with.

But Merson says that is because Grealish does not trust the quality of players around him at Villa.

The pundit reckons Grealish would receive the ball less if he joined United, similar to Ballack when he moved to Chelsea from Bayern Munich in 2006.

So Merson says Grealish must learn to move the ball quicker, just like Ballack did.

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“I do think he’s trying to take it on too much, I don’t think he has trust in the players that they’re good enough around him,” Merson said on Sky Sports.

“I look at someone like Michael Ballack, who was a great player.

“When he was at Bayern Munich, when he was in Germany, he would probably touch the ball 100 times a game and in those 100 times he’d probably at least 10 times find a world-class ball.

“So you’re always going to have a good game because you’re going to find that pass.

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“But I just think when he went to Chelsea and Chelsea had a lot of star players like Frank Lampard and people like that, from 100 touches a game to 60 or 70 or even 50, it’s a lot harder.

“I think [Grealish] doesn’t trust the players and is trying to be the school captain at the moment and do everything.

“He’s keeping the ball too long but I think with better players they would demand the ball off him.

“I think at Aston Villa they just let him do what he wants, like at school, the school captain, ‘here’s the ball, go and beat everybody and we’ll win the game’.”


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Grealish has been fouled more than any other player in the Premier League this season and Souness says that has to change.

“For me [Grealish] needs to move the ball quicker,” Souness said.

“The reason I say that is he takes too many touches, he’s the most tackled player in the Premier League.

“Is that necessary? I think he needs to see the picture quicker, move it quicker.

“I think that’s something that he needs to address or he’ll end up going down the road of Jack Wilshere where he’ll get lots of injuries.”

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