Jeremy Doku’s outstanding performance, featuring a goal and four assists in the recent victory against Bournemouth, has raised questions about Jack Grealish’s future at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s decision to start the Belgian winger has left little room for doubts about his place in the lineup.
As City gears up for their Champions League clash with Young Boys, the challenge for Guardiola is how to effectively manage two elite left wingers with different playing styles. Grealish tends to slow down the game, drawing in opponents and often winning fouls. In contrast, Doku plays at a faster pace, utilizing his explosive speed to take on defenders and deliver passes or shots, as evidenced in the Bournemouth game.
Comparing their performances this season, Doku has made a strong case for himself with six starting appearances, two goals, and five assists, while Grealish has started just three times, providing a single assist. However, Grealish, the £100 million signing, adds a unique dimension to City’s attack and played a pivotal role in their Treble triumph last season.
Guardiola has emphasized the importance of scoring goals, and Grealish’s ability to provide composure in certain situations. He hinted at the possibility of playing both Grealish and Doku together, but this has occurred only once this season in the Young Boys fixture.
While Grealish excels in passing accuracy and completed through balls compared to Doku, the summer signing outshines him in various other attacking aspects, attempting more take-ons, creating more chances, and registering significantly more shots on target.
With City competing in multiple competitions, both players are likely to get their fair share of playing time. However, it appears that only one of them will be preferred in crucial matches. The upcoming Champions League home tie might be Grealish’s opportunity to demonstrate his value and possibly push Doku to play on the right.
Competition for places is expected at a top-tier team like City, but they should be cautious not to foster a negative environment as they pursue their sixth title in seven years. If Grealish fails to regain his top form, he might consider following the path of other players like Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling by exploring a move away from the club.