Joao Cancelo’s Versatility: Key to Their Championship Goals
Joao Cancelo wasn’t even part of the active lineup in the latter months of last season because he was deemed unfit for Manchester City’s style of play. There was no doubt about his talent and skills; it’s in the matter of fitting in and being part of a cohesive unit that was lacking. One can easily measure the frustration Cancelo felt as the City bowed to a 1-0 loss against Porto. When you’re a talented young player full of big hopes, it is disappointing to feel helpless when you can’t even help your team win since you are not part of the Premier League Champions lineup.
Manchester City FC’s team manager Pep Guardiola has always been vocal about his love-hate relationship with the 27-year old full back from Portugal. It has always been tough love from Guardiola as Cancelo moved in and out of the rotation ever since he joined the City’s first team. He had little room for error as he continuously struggled to gel with the team’s playing style. Cancelo was clearly unhappy with his role, but Guardiola made sure he stayed motivated.
Joao Cancelo’s skill set is so unique in the world of soccer. His ability to transition from a full back to a midfield playmaker or the goal scorer is so lethal to the game as defences could be caught off-guard with his versatility. Given his excellent attacking skills, he is so instrumental to Manchester City’s defence as a hybrid midfielder. Taking a look at Cancelo’s season statistics so far, he has already registered 8 assists and a lone goal which is impressive for someone running at the full back position.
Joao Cancelo’s attacking skills are not only his contribution to the team. The more important factors are the other things his game can bring to the table. His passing ability can allow attacking midfielders to run forward and stay close to the goal. The City does not have a traditional striker this season, but their numbers show otherwise, and Cancelo’s playmaking is a big reason for that.
If Manchester City wants to win its first title in the top flight of English football, Joao Cancelo is definitely a centrepiece to a championship dream.