Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will demand more from Joao Cancelo as he claims the full-back ‘can do better’ despite his excellent start to the season
- Joao Cancelo has been one of Manchester City’s star players so far this season
- The Portuguese full-back has scored two goals and registered five assists
- Pep Guardiola though believes Cancelo can still improve on his displays
The Portuguese has shone in the left-back slot, with his movements forward and into midfield adding a dimension to the champions’ play that few rivals can match.
The 27-year-old former Juventus defender was signed primarily as a right-back in 2019 but showed his ability to play on the opposite flank on a number of occasions last season.
Full-back Joao Cancelo has been in excellent form for Manchester City so far this season
Manager Pep Guardiola though feels the Portuguese defender can still do better
This term, due to a lack of options, playing on the left has been a necessity and, with Kyle Walker holding down the spot on the right of defence, Cancelo has taken to the role impressively.
‘Of course he’s playing really well, consistent,’ said City boss Guardiola. ‘Especially with his physicality, he can recover really fast and well during the games. He can play every three days without any problem.
‘But, at the same time, I have the feeling he can do better. Still there are margins to improve in some aspects that we have been working on with him since he arrived.
Cancelo has scored two goals and registered five assists for City in all competitions
‘I’m pretty sure he is open to accept it and we can move forward.’
City, who beat rivals Manchester United in impressive fashion in their last outing, return to action on Sunday as they host Everton at the Etihad Stadium.
The international break has come at a cost, with Kevin De Bruyne contracting coronavirus while away and both Jack Grealish and Phil Foden picking up knocks.
Guardiola insists he is not complaining – and admits he has enjoyed the break on a personal level – but concedes it is frustrating when players return injured.
He said: ‘We didn’t complain before and we don’t complain now. It is what it is.
City will be without key player Kevin De Bruyne as they host Everton at the Etihad on Sunday
‘As a club manager it’s a dream as I have a week’s holiday. You cannot imagine how good it is! Look at my tan! It’s much better than before the United game.
‘But, at the same time, I’m always concerned because every time, in the international break, we are unlucky. We always have problems with players coming back from the national teams, many players are injured and this one is not an exception.
‘Every time we give them fit and they come back not fit. It can happen here or it can happen with the national team, but unfortunately it happens quite often there.’