Manchester City have completed the signing of Portugal right-back João Cancelo from Juventus for £60 million. The agreement sees City full-back, Danilo, move in the opposite direction for a fee of £34.1m.

What can City fans expect from their latest summer signing?

Dribbling

Manchester City are no strangers to dipping into the transfer market to secure the services of full-backs having spent in excess of 150 million since 2017. However, Pep Guardiola just might have found the man who fits perfectly into City’s playing style as an attacking right back.

João Cancelo is comfortable on both flanks and started his career on the wing but has since made a reputation for being a marauding right-back during his time in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

As a former right-winger, the Portuguese defender is more than happy to take on the opposing right back and has the stats to prove as he completed 61 dribbles in Serie A last season, more than any other defender. He also attempted 6.95 dribbles per game last season with a 67.8 success rate.

As well as the ability to take on a player, the former Juventus man is also far superior to the outgoing Danilo when it comes to end product in finding his teammates, completing 270 crosses in comparison to Danilo’s 68 as well as eight assists to Danilo’s four.

Credit to: [Opta].

Youth & Experience

At the just age of 25 Cancelo has competed at the highest level previously with Benfica, Valencia, Inter Milan and Juventus.

It seems he’s come at the perfect time in his career as an established European right back approaching the peak of his powers, and The Etihad looks like it could be the perfect place to take Cancelo’s game to the next level.

In recent years it’s been in City’s plans to lower the average age of the squad, and Danilo wasn’t exactly old at 28 years old, but I think it’s fair to say his best years were probably behind him, so the signing of Cancelo will bring a fresh lease of life down City’s right flank and certainly plenty for City fans to be excited about.

After Vincent Kompany (33) moved on to Anderlecht and with the other marquee summer signing Rodri (23) in to replace Fernandinho (34). The entire City backline and midfield have a more youthful feel to it, but importantly the players brought in have also already played at the very highest levels in Europe.

 

Competition for places

Manchester City, under Guardiola, seems the perfect place for Cancelo to succeed, his style of play suits Pep’s playing style, but he’s come knowing he’s got healthy competition in Kyle Walker if he wants to push for starting spot.

Walker has been City’s first-choice right-back since he signed in 2017 and has never had any real pressure put on him by Danilo who was often used as a left-back and perhaps didn’t always have the full trust of Pep.

But despite being City’s first-choice right-back, Walker’s performances in recent years have been far from perfect. Although he made a great start to the season in the Community Shield victory over Liverpool, including a marvellous goal-line clearance to preserve a draw. So he’s going to pull off a few performances like that if he wants to remain Pep’s first choice.

City seem to have struck a nice deal in signing Cancelo for 26 mil+ Danilo, and the new signing has already said he has dreams of being the best RB in the world. Now being at Manchester City, under the guidance of Guardiola, you wouldn’t doubt it.


Total Football Analysis Magazine #11: July 2019 - tactical analysis tactics
Artwork by @chapulana

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