Man City star Jack Grealish explains why he feels ‘proud’ to be England’s first £100m player

Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish has admitted that he is “proud” to be England’s first £100million footballer.

The attacking-midfield ace, who will be hoping to start for England when they face Hungary in their latest 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier this evening, joined City from Aston Villa last month in a British transfer record.

Given that his form for Villa was continuing to go from strength to strength, Grealish, at the time of signing a new contract at Villa Park in September last year, had a clause inserted into his deal that if an offer of £100million was put in front of Villa then they would not stand in his way or deny him a move.

Nevertheless, the £100million fee that City paid for the 25-year-old’s services did come under a sense of scrutiny. However, Grealish is proud knowing that he is English football’s first £100million player.

“I think it sounds good,” Grealish told ITV Sport when asked how it sounded to be England’s first £100million footballer. “I am happy with it, I like it. It is something to be proud of, really, isn’t it?

“I think Trevor Francis, all those years ago, was the first £1million player. I think it is a good thing to have.

“For the club to have gone out and spent that sort of money on me, that shows how much they value me.”

Asked if he ever thought a club would match the £100million clause within his contract at Villa, the City ace continued: “Maybe, yes. That is why we had it put in, because I knew that if I played the way that I can, I would have a club there that knows they can work with me over the next few years and build me to something that can go on to be one of the best in the league, then they would pay that.

“I think that is obviously what City thought.”

Select your strongest City XI following the transfer window using our tool below!

Now that Grealish is rubbing shoulders with household names such as Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus, he believes England’s national team will be benefitting from having a better player than what they have had in the past.

Grealish added: “Yes, 100 per cent. Since I have been there, one thing that I have realised is that you just pick up stuff off certain players, because you know everyone is an international from a top, top country.

“You are playing with players that have played in the Champions League their whole lives and you learn from them every single day. You see what they do on and off the pitch. You see how they train and it makes you up your standard.”

Sign up to our City newsletter so you never miss an update from the Etihad Stadium this season.