PHIL THOMPSON: I wanted Jack Grealish at Liverpool – he’d walk into the team

Hope always springs eternal for Mr Thompson.

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Liverpool FC God and Paddy Power ambassador Phil Thompson is gutted that Jack Grealish joined Manchester City and not his beloved Reds this summer. Liverpool were never really thought to be in for the former Aston Villa star, but Thommo would have loved to watch the playmaker strut his stuff at Anfield week in week out.

Instead it was the champions who got their man for a British-record £100m. And Thommo thinks it’s the best deal of the window, regardless of the hefty transfer fee.

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Thommo told Paddy Power News: “I would have to say Jack Grealish is the signing of the summer. I was hoping that Liverpool would be in for him, but £100 million took it beyond most teams except for Manchester City.

“He’s a real game changer and a fantastic player. Liverpool have the likes of Harvey Elliott and Sadio Mane that can create a spark out of nothing, and similarly he brings that to the teams that he plays for. For me, he would have fit in well at Anfield too.

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“He’d walk straight into Liverpool’s team, he’s that good. I’d say Manchester City are ready to compete for the title again with Jack Grealish, just imagine if Harry Kane had signed too!”

Liverpool will be gunning to reclaim the Premier League crown from City who deposed them last season. It was a disastrous title defence from the Reds who were plagued by injuries.

However, with some of their star defenders back, including the imperious Virgil van Dijk, Thommo thinks the side will be unrecognisable from the one which eventually rallied to finish 3rd in 2020/21.

“Liverpool will be far better with the players that are coming back,” Thommo insists. “It’ll change the dynamic how Liverpool will play with just van Dijk there offensively rather than defensively.

“If everybody stays fit, we can compete with anybody. If Chelsea continue their good form, and Manchester United’s signings have a big impact they could both have good seasons too.

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“Before Jack Grealish signed, I would have said Liverpool are a good shout for the title, but now he has made all the difference to City’s title challenge.”

Liverpool sit 5th in the Premier League after two wins and a draw from their five games. They’ll be hoping to get back to winning ways at Leeds after the international break following their 1-1 draw with 10-man Chelsea last weekend.

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