Eyebrows were raised at the time of Joao Cancelo’s move to Manchester City.
The full-back joined the club in the summer of 2019, after spending just one season at Juventus.
‘How good can he be if Juve are willing to let him go after one season?’ were the thoughts of many…
Prior to that he had a loan spell with Inter Milan for a year, which made people even more sceptical.
City completed the transfer of Cancelo for a reported £60 million (BBC Sport).
That was offset by Danilo moving in the opposite direction for £34.1 million, giving Cancelo an effective transfer fee of around £26 million.
Quite simply, what a brilliant capture he has proven to be.
The star took some time to get used to English football, making just 19 starts in 2019/20.
Last term though, it all clicked for Cancelo at the Etihad.
The star operated mainly at right-back, but also filled in at left-back at times. And it didn’t make a difference where on the pitch he was, the result was usually the same.
Cancelo was different class carrying out his full-back duties, but also drifting inside and acting as an extra playmaker.
He ended 2020/21 being named in both the Premier League and the PFA’s Team of the Season, which was absolutely deserved.
And Cancelo’s good form is continuing into the summer.
He turned out for Portugal against Israel last night, assisting Bruno Fernandes and then scoring a stunning goal cutting in from the right and finishing left-footed into the far corner.
His performance was lapped up by supporters on social media. That is the umpteenth time that’s happened since the start of 2020/21.
Cancelo really is the complete player.
City have done a lot of shrewd business while Pep Guardiola has been at the helm. Ilkay Gundogan’s £20 million move from Borussia Dortmund (BBC Sport) instantly springs to mind.
But the versatile Cancelo’s transfer might just be the best of the best.