Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo last night made his debut for Barcelona – and he really impressed.
Cancelo sealed his loan move to the Spanish giants on Friday night.
For a while, Barcelona were not actually in a position to register Cancelo.
The player was waiting to fly last Monday but was initially told not to travel, leaving the player and his family in disbelief.
Eventually the deal got done, and Cancelo was in the squad for last night’s La Liga match with Osasuna.
And he’s already made an impression…
Joao Cancelo shines on Barcelona debut after joining on loan from Manchester City
Perhaps inevitably, Cancelo was named on the bench by Xavi.
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He and Joao Felix sealed their moves to the club very late, and so neither of them were likely to start.
But Xavi turned to Cancelo on the hour mark against Osasuna.
And the Portuguese wasted little time catching the eye.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Cancelo completed 13/14 passes during his time on the pitch.
Within just minutes of him coming on, he set Robert Lewandowski up for a header with an outstanding ‘trivela’ pass, which is something of a trademark for Cancelo.
We regularly saw him play crosses and passes using that technique at City. It is essentially playing the ball with the outside of the preferred foot, rather than using the weak foot.
Lewandowski couldn’t convert on this occasion. But it’s already clear the Pole will be getting a lot of good service with Cancelo in the team.
Cancelo off to a great start
So it looks like Barca fans are already very taken by Cancelo.
His cross for Lewandowski was a reminder of his creative brilliance.
Cancelo had to leave City once it became apparent there was no chance of him getting a clean slate from Pep Guardiola.
It is a shame what transpired, but it is what it is.
City will now just hope that Cancelo shines in Spain, so that he retains a high market value for next summer.