João Cancelo shined in his debut for Bayern Munich in the DFB Cup match against Mainz 05. Just days after arriving from a surprising loan from Manchester City, Cancelo caught the eyes of fans, critics, and teammates. It only took Cancelo fourteen minutes before providing an excellent cross and assist to make it 1-0.
Leon Goretzka raved about Cancelo after the game, “An absolute asset! In the first half he still had two super crosses that I can’t quite get there. There are balls that I dream of. You can see that he knows where the ball has to go. And he has the technical means to implement that.”
Cancelo wasn’t just lethal offensively though, he was a rock defensively. Made big tackles, and has rarely caught out of position. Cancelo clearly was instructed well by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Thomas Müller also spoke highly of the newcomer. “Now we can go a little deeper: What we’ve seen in the last few games is that even a team like us - and I’m always active internally, to demand that... How are goals scored? It’s about crosses at the right time when the opponents still have to defend back.” [Bild]
Benjamin Pavard took strides to improve this season and was by no means a liability, but Cancelo immediately proved that the team needed someone of a higher standard. The load has been mostly on Davies to get the ball upfield but the Canadian left-back hasn’t showed any signs of improvement in his game the last couple years, though he is still a great option.
Perhaps Cancelo coming into the squad will lighten Davies’ load and allow the Canadian to elevate his game, especially defensively. Clearly, Cancelo has given the squad a breath of fresh air.