Jack Grealish has yet to justify the £100million price tag that Manchester City paid to sign him in the summer of 2021.
Eyebrows were raised when Pep Guardiola's side forked out a Premier League record fee to bring him to the Etihad. There is no doubting his quality, but it was difficult to see where he vastly improved the team.
His impact during his debut campaign would turn out to be a minimal one. While City would win the league title, the Englishman's influence in the side wained as the season went on.
That led to plenty of criticism, with Graeme Souness once against questioning his quality in recent days. That is far from the first occasion that the Scot has spoken about the player, saying back in 2020 that he refused to buy into the hype that was building around the then Aston Villa star.
Those comments have not gone unnoticed by the player himself.
Jack Grealish baffled by Graeme Souness criticism
Grealish was asked about Souness' comments ahead of England's UEFA Nations League game against Italy this week, admitting that he was unsure what the pundit's 'problem' with him was.
I don’t know what his problem is with me. He always says stuff about me! But I try not to read a lot of it.
It is difficult you know when he’s on talkSPORT, or Sky Sports, and it’s everywhere around the training ground at times.
Listen, he was obviously a great player and won a lot but I know he has a lot of stuff to…I don’t know what it is with what he says about me or what problem he’s got. I know my own ability.
I know before that he used to say a lot of stuff about me not moving the ball quicker, but when I’m playing for a manager like Pep Guardiola and he’s telling me to keep the ball as much as I can and have balls to take it everywhere, that’s what I’ll try and do.
Obviously, I am always going to have people, if I’m not playing well (criticising). Listen, I know within myself, I always watch my games back and stuff like this and I am very critical of myself.
Grealish had a difficult start to this season once again, although he would find the back of the net in the win over Wolves last weekend.
He will be hoping to kick on from there, although it will take quite a long period of sustained performances before he can begin to justify that £100million price tag.
Criticism is likely to continue until then, although the winger says that is all part and parcel of the game at the highest level.
It’s more if someone like my mum or my dad was saying it, I’d listen a lot more.
But, yeah, sometimes when people are saying it – whether it be trolls on Twitter or Instagram or stuff like that – that doesn’t bother me at all.
I think that’s just part and parcel of what we have playing for the national team and playing for big clubs in England.
I don’t think I’m the only one, I think there’s quite a few. I think we just have to learn to deal with that.
Obviously, over time, I’ve learned to deal with it.
When I signed for Man City and the price and stuff that came with it, I knew it wasn’t going to all be laughs, unless I started the way Erling Haaland did. I think that’s the only way I wouldn’t get caned!
Obviously, I’m not going to sit here and say ‘nothing ever affects me’ because it does sometimes. I’m a 27-year-old kid so I’ve had to learn to deal with that.
Jack Grealish will now be hoping the he can put a run of good form together over the remainder of the year, with England's World Cup campaign just around the corner.