Jack Grealish of Aston Villa

Jack Grealish's Manchester United 2020/21 season predicted amid summer transfer links

Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish has been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer, so how would the English midfielder perform at Old Trafford? We used Football Manager 2020 to find out.


The January transfer window may have closed over two weeks ago, but that doesn't stop the transfer rumours concerning Manchester United, particularly looking ahead to the 2020 summer transfer window.

The latest name to be linked with a move to Old Trafford is Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, who has shone for his hometown club in this campaign, despite Villa battling to avoid relegation. The MEN understands United are interested in the player ahead of a potential summer move.

The creative midfielder has scored seven goals and registered five assists in the Premier League so far this season, showcasing his creative and goalscoring qualities, and has also been linked with a call up to the England national team ahead of Euro 2020.

So, how would Grealish perform if he moved to United this summer?

We used Football Manager 2020 to have a bit of fun and try and predict how United would perform with Grealish in the team from next summer.

Here's what happened...

Jack Grealish to Manchester United in July 2020

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2020 editor to arrange the transfer of Jack Grealish to United on July 1st 2020.

We then simulated the next two seasons to see what kind of impact Grealish could have at United in the 2020/21 campaign.

Here is a summary of the United transfers that happened in game in the summer of 2020/21.

Transfers in: £194m

In addition to Grealish's arrival, United also brought in midfielders Lorenzo Pellegrini and Thiago Almada, as well as winger Victor Tsygankov.

Transfers out: £137m

Paul Pogba, Andreas Pereira, Marcos Rojo, Fred, Juan Mata and Joel Pereira were all sold in the summer.

Here's what happened.

Jack Grealish's 2020/21 season for Manchester United

Here's Grealish's 2020/21 season for United in more detail.

The English midfielder was a significant creative force in the United team, contributing 12 assists in 45 appearances in all competitions, also scoring eight goals, which is a very decent return overall.

The 24-year-old's average match rating for the club across all competitions was an impressive 7.24, highlighting his consistently high performances throughout the campaign.

With Pogba gone, Grealish and Fernandes were United's two most creative forces, with Fernandes creating 108 chances (23 assists) to Grealish's 85 (12 assists). To put that into context, the next best creators were Pellegrini and Rashford with 27 chances created.

Let's take a look at United's best performing eleven during the season.

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Manchester United's best XI in 2020/21

Grealish made the number ten spot his own, despite Fernandes being in the team, with the Portugal international playing a slightly deeper midfield role alongside Pellegrini.

Greenwood was the club's number one striking option, with Rashford and new signing Tsygankov playing wide.

Manchester United's performance in 2020/21

Grealish played a major role in United's success in the 2020/21 season, scoring the opening goal in the Carabao Cup final against Arsenal, in which Ainsley Maitland-Niles also scored an own goal, to secure United some silverware.

Grealish helped United to secure a fourth place finish in the Premier League, above Arsenal and Tottenham, and only 14 points behind eventual league champions Man City.

In fact, when you look at the table in more detail, United lost the same number of games as City, losing just six all season, but Grealish's side drew too many games.

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According to our Football Manager 2020 simulation, Grealish's arrival, complimented with Bruno Fernandes' integration into the team, could make United a better team overall, despite losing Paul Pogba.

Grealish would immediately become a key player for United if he did sign for the club this summer, being one of the most creative players in the Premier League and helping United win a major trophy.

Obviously, this is just a bit of fun, but it's interesting nonetheless!

Would you take the signing of Grealish this summer?