Saturday, September 30, 2023

Barcelona Are In Advanced Talks To Land This Man City Ace: Decent Choice For Xavi?

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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 tweet, Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari claimed that Barcelona are in advanced talks to land Manchester City ace Joao Cancelo this summer. It has been revealed that the Catalan club are close to recruiting the Portuguese full-back this month.

Cancelo’s Impressive Loan Spell At The Allianz Arena

The Man City talent experienced a decent loan spell at Bayern Munich last season when he produced a series of impressive displays for them from the right-back position. Cancelo netted one goal and picked up six assists in 21 matches for the Bavarian club in the previous campaign across all competitions.

The 29-year-old gave a good account of himself by averaging 1.5 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.0 clearances, 0.8 shots, 0.9 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in Bundesliga football. He has even been accurate when distributing possession from the right flank as evidenced by his pass success rate of 85.1% in the German top tier (stats via whoscored).

Cancelo’s current deal at Man City will expire in 2027 which could make it difficult for Barcelona to sign him on the cheap in this ongoing transfer window.

Joao Cancelo
MUNICH, GERMANY – MAY 20: Joao Cancelo of Bayern Munich controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and RB Leipzig at Allianz Arena on May 20, 2023 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Is Cancelo A Decent Choice For Barcelona Boss Xavi?

Cancelo is a good tackler of the ball and can make a few timely interceptions for his team inside his half. He usually clears the danger when required and can make some intelligent runs with the ball out in the wide areas.

The Portugal international can create the odd chance for his teammates and can even shoot the ball with venom from long range. He usually operates as a right-back but can also fill in as a left-back if told to do so.

Cancelo would no doubt enhance the quality of Barcelona boss Xavi’s first XI. He might even help the Catalan club challenge for some major honours over the next few years.

At 29, Cancelo has still got plenty of football left in him and would be a great choice for Barca to pursue for the short term. He has what it takes to be a success story at the Nou Camp as long as he can make a smooth transition to life in Spanish football. All in all, Xavi would be wise to go all out to bring Cancelo on board this month.

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