Manchester City fullback and Portuguese international João Cancelo had a sterling debut in Bayern Munich colors this week against Mainz 05 in the DFB-Pokal. Arriving in the waning moments of the transfer window, Cancelo suited up immediately for Julian Nagelsmann’s new-look Bayern setup and delivered a debut for the ages.
“I am very happy to contribute to this victory and to see that we are a very united group,” Cancelo remarked after the match, a 4-0 Die Roten victory, in an interview posted by FCBayern.
Cancelo made his mark early. A quick study in positional play coming from Pep Guardiola’s system, Cancelo slid as easily into the Bayern XI as his passes did behind the Mainz defense.
“It was a great game for the whole team,” Cancelo added. “My teammates helped me settle in as quickly as possible, that’s why I think my debut was good. The most important thing was still the victory and we got it. We are in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal and I am very happy.”
For his first start, Cancelo stepped in for left-back Alphonso Davies, but played on the right side as a wing-back ahead of a back three. Nagelsmann may opt to revert to his back four in upcoming games, particularly against PSG in the Champions League — and it’ll be interesting to see where Cancelo will be deployed then.
In any case, it’s looking like the Bavarians have found excellent cover for the extended absence of right-back Noussair Mazraoui — who, alongside Lucas Hernández, marked two huge World Cup losses to the Bayern squad.
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.
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