With neighbours Manchester United having all the fun in the transfer market this summer, Manchester City have decided it’s about time they joined the party.
The Premier League champions are edging closer to securing a deal for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, with 90min revealing recently that the two clubs ‘expect’ the move to take place very shortly.
The England international has worn his boyhood club’s number ten shirt for the past four seasons – taking over from Jordan Ayew following his 2017 move to Swansea – and with Sergio Aguero having recently left City for Barcelona there’s every chance Grealish could take the number ten shirt if his move to Pep Guardiola’s side is finalised.
The only other number Grealish has been linked to in his time with the Villa senior squad is 40 – the number he was handed having broken into the first-team setup – and while this is available at City it’s difficult to imagine him choosing it.
Now, at this point you’re probably thinking it seems pretty cut and dry that Grealish will just take the iconic number ten, but it’s not quite as simple as that.
During his senior club career, Grealish has only played for one other side and that came back in the 2013/14 season when he was shipped out on loan to Notts County. His time in League One saw him adopt the number seven shirt, while he spoke of his immense pride at being handed the same number at Euro 2020 with England recently.
The current occupier of City’s number seven shirt is Raheem Sterling, the man who wore England’s number ten shirt at the European Championship – see what we’re getting at?
Depending how passionate each player feels about the respective numbers, it could be that Sterling opts to take the number ten shirt following Aguero’s exit, subsequently freeing up the number seven shirt for Grealish.
Phil Foden could also have a part to play in the selection given he currently wears the number 47. If he chooses to take the number ten shirt, the remaining numbers available for Grealish (without listing every number up to 100) would include 12, 15, 18, 19, 23 and 24.
Oh, there’s also numbers 1 and 4 available if he decides to go all ‘William Gallas wearing number ten’ on us.