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Joao Cancelo's 2020/21 Highlights Show He's The Best Full-Back in The World

Joao Cancelo's 2020/21 Highlights Show He's The Best Full-Back in The World

Some of Pep Guardiola's most experimental moves include converting Javier Mascherano to a ball-playing centre-back, Lionel Messi to an unstoppable false nine and Philipp Lahm into a controlling defensive midfielder.

His latest tactical tweak has seen him playing Joao Cancelo as an inverted full-back and it's worked an absolute treat.

The Portugal international initially struggled to bed in after arriving at Manchester City for big money from Juventus and he didn't appear to be much of an upgrade on Danilo, the man who went in the opposite direction as part of the deal.

But after finishing the extended 2019/20 campaign strongly, he's been one of City's best players this season.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

Playing in a unique role where he defends as a full-back but becomes a playmaking central midfielder when the Blues have the ball, Cancelo has conjured up a slew of impressive displays.

As his highlights from this term show, not only has he defended tremendously in 1v1 situations, Cancelo has proven to be one of City's most effective attacking weapons.

His pace and trickery causes confusion aplenty, while he's picked out teammates with superb defence-splitting passes that Kevin De Bruyne would be proud of.

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Cancelo is averaging two key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League, which puts him second on the list featuring just defenders who have played over 900 minutes of football.

At the other end of the pitch, he's helped City concede just seven goals in the 17 games he's been involved in, keeping nine clean sheets.

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The 26-year-old has become one of City's key players and is surely a shoo-in for the PFA Team of the Year given his current form.

Explaining Cancelo's transition, Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports: "Other players in the back cannot play in this position, they can play wide, but he has the skills to play there. Danilo could do it. Fabian Delph was exceptional. Alex Zinchenko too.

"There is a need sometimes for these qualities and you believe that they can do it. We talk to them, we try to explain to them. Sometimes we realise it is difficult for them but if you are positive about it and believe that they can do it then they have the quality to do it."

Topics: Manchester City, Football News, Football, Pep Guardiola, Joao Cancelo

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.