How quickly the fortunes turn. The clouds hanging over Säbener Straße could hardly have been more ominous lately, but one massive pull near deadline day for the winter transfer window and everyone’s smiling again. That’s the kind of instant impact Manchester City fullback João Cancelo has made.
Cancelo put in an impressive shift against Mainz 05 in his inaugural start — which came barely a day after his arrival in Bavaria. And his preternatural quality was as apparent to his coach as to all the fans watching.
“You can see that he enjoyed an education that focused on a lot of football,” Nagelsmann enthused after the game (via Sport1’s Kerry Hau.) “He’s a world-class player who will help us tremendously in our idea of how we want to play football.”
Years of playing under (ex-Bayern coach) Pep Guardiola and at Manchester City can hone that in a player, but Cancelo arguably always had world-class ability. Now at Bayern he finds a tactical system of kindred spirit — and so it’s no surprise that he stepped in so smoothly despite very little time for precise instruction.
“João played a very good game. He was very creative, played some great passes and crosses and also made very good deep runs,” Nagelsmann said of Cancelo’s debut (via @iMiaSanMia). “He was playing under one of the best managers in the world. I just told him to play his game and not to think too much.”
One imagines there’s much more to come. The question on everybody’s minds, then, is how long do the Bayern bosses wait before deciding whether their new buy will be part of next season’s plans?
Interested in a more in-depth look at the match, including the formation/tactics deployed by Julian Nagelsmann, Joao Cancelo’s debut, and the amazing influence of Thomas Muller? Well, why not check out our postgame podcast? We talk about all that and more! Listen below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!