The Athletic’s Sam Lee has given his verdict following the news that Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has signed a contract extension.
The Lowdown: Cancelo’s rise at City
The Portuguese defender became the most expensive full-back of all time in 2019 when he signed for Manchester City from Juventus in a deal worth £60m, with Danilo heading the other way for £34m.
Since arriving at the Etihad Stadium, the 27-year-old has played an integral part in Pep Guardiola’s side, having totalled 106 appearances for the Citizens. That includes 22 Premier League outings this season, where he has amassed one goal and five assists in becoming one of the team’s best performers, according to WhoScored metrics.
Cancelo signed a six-year deal when he joined the Sky Blues, keeping him at the club until 2025.
The Latest: Cancelo signs contract extension
Despite having three years left on his contract, City have been looking to tie down Cancelo on a long-term deal. On Tuesday morning, the club announced that the full-back has signed a two-year contract extension, which will keep him at the Etihad until 2027.
He proclaimed: “New deal for Joao Cancelo, a fitting reward for his emergence as a key City player and his phenomenal form over the past few months in particular”.
The Verdict: Great business
When the initial lockdown happened, the defender struggled to adapt to life in England and thus wanted to leave the club. However, he overcame this to duly become one of the key components of Guardiola’s side.
Former City midfielder Nigel de Jong has offered some effusive praise of the 27-year-old, saying: “We can have a healthy discussion and debate on who is the best right-back in the world and Cancelo is certainly up there for me. It’s not only his versatility but also the fact he is as strong defensively as any right-back or left-back in the world.”
Taking everything into account, this seems like a brilliant bit of business by City, and it’s no wonder that Lee has voiced his firm approval of Cancelo’s contract extension.
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