Manchester City have made their second big acquisition of the summer after bringing Joao Cancelo from Juventus with Danilo moving in the other direction. Cancelo has been on the wish list of Pep Guardiola for quite a while. In fact, City have been tracking him even from his days at Valencia.
City have been able to bring in the 25-year-old with a valuation of £60 million, while Danilo – valued at £34 million – has moved the other way. City will be paying up the remainder of the fee over three years, according to Sky Sports.
Joao Cancelo came through the ranks at Benfica and made the switch to Valencia in 2015 for around €15 million. After spending three seasons with the Spanish outfit on a permanent basis, the right back made the permanent switch to Juventus in 2018 even amidst interest from City. Juventus were able to secure his signature for around €40 million. Even though he played in integral part in the Bianconeri’s title success last season, the arrival of Maurizio Sarri had deemed him surplus to requirements at Turin.
It has provided Guardiola with the opportunity to sign a player who has been on his wish list for quite a while. Guardiola has taken particular interest in Cancelo since he is very similar to Dani Alves in terms of style of play. A huge part of Guardiola’s success at Barcelona is down to Alves and his ability to free up space for Lionel Messi. Since the essence of Guardiola’s style remains the same with heavy dependence on the movement by wingers and fullbacks, City wasted no time in completing the swap deal.
One of the major problems of Cancelo is the inability to offer full concentration for the entire 90 minutes. Despite being excellent going forward, the Portuguese does suffer when it comes to defending at the back. However, this weakness could be masked while playing for Guardiola, who favours his team having a lot of possession. Cancelo’s pace can help him recover from adverse situations without being exposed often.
Danilo has enjoyed a decent amount of success at the Etihad Stadium after moving to the club in 2017 from Real Madrid. However, it became apparent last season that Danilo would struggle for first-team opportunities under Guardiola this season. Danilo featured in 38 games across all competitions in his first season at the club, but he only made 21 appearances in all competitions last season. As a result, his place in the international team came under threat.
After watching Manchester United break the world transfer record for a defender with the signing of Harry Maguire, City had to keep up the momentum and spend to stay in front. Even though Liverpool have not been active in the transfer market this summer, the challenges ahead of City in the Premier League remain rather large.
The presence of two first-choice rightbacks – Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo – allows City to focus on all four competitions without having to worry about injuries or recuperation.