Monday, February 6, 2023

Manchester City Willing To Give Up Cancelo For This AC Milan Star: Should Pep Get Him On Board?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Calciomercatoweb claimed that Manchester City are willing to give up Joao Cancelo for AC Milan star Rafael Leao. It has been revealed that the Mancunian giants are open to using Cancelo to try and sign his Portuguese teammate this year.

Leao’s Impressive Record In Italian Football This Season

Leao is having a decent campaign at the Italian club as he has been responsible for putting in several influential displays on the left side of their attack. The 23-year-old has banged in nine goals and picked up nine assists in 25 matches for AC Milan this season across all competitions.

The Portugal international has been a consistent performer in the final third based on his average of 3.2 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.8 dribbles per 90 minutes in Serie A football. He has even been excellent when distributing the ball in the opponent’s half after making 77.4% of his attempted passes in the Italian top-flight (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Italian club is set to run out in the summer of 2024. Thus, it makes sense for Man City to arrange a move to bring him to the Etihad Stadium next summer.

Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium

Should Manchester City Head Coach Pep Guardiola Get Leao On Board?

Leao has got the pace to make some dangerous runs with the ball down the left flank and has got the vision to cut open the opposition defence with a killer pass in the final third. He can strike the ball with venom and accuracy from long range and can contribute by scoring and creating his fair share of goals up top.

The Portuguese sensation mainly functions as a left-sided wide player but can also fill in as a striker down the middle if asked to do so. However, only time will tell whether he can make a smooth transition to life in English football if Man City manage to sign him this year.

We can expect Leao to add more pace and goals to Pep Guardiola‘s attack at the Etihad Stadium. He could even serve as an upgrade over Jack Grealish who has struggled to be productive during his time at the Mancunian club.

All in all, Guardiola should think about getting Leao on board if even if it means giving up Joao Cancelo in the process as the AC Milan wing wizard has what it takes to help Man City compete for even more silverware in the coming seasons.

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