Having racked up an incredible 198 points over the past two Premier League seasons, it was difficult heading into the summer to envisage where Manchester City might improve. No team has dominated the English top flight like Pep Guardiola’s side has of late and so any signing would have be a big one to take them any higher.
The addition of Rodri for a club record £62.8 million went some way to meeting this benchmark. The midfielder is a player in the mould of Guardiola and will fit in well at the Etihad Stadium. He has previously been compared to Sergio Busquets and so it was natural that City should seek him to be Fernandinho’s long term successor at the club.
Beyond that, there was the re-signing of full back Angelino for just £6 million to provide some depth and most assumed that would conclude Man City’s transfer business for the summer. One last deal, concluded with just hours of the window left, has many praising the Premier League champions. Indeed, it might just be the deal of the summer.
The £28 million signing of Joao Cancelo was announced on Wednesday, with Danilo heading to Juventus as part of the deal. The Portuguese international represents a significant upgrade on City’s present full back options and gives Guardiola the right back he’s always wanted, the right back he always wanted Kyle Walker to be.
In the current inflated market, £28 million (even if it includes a player heading to Turin in part-exchange) for a player of Cancelo’s quality and pedigree is shrewd business. Consider that Manchester United were forced to pay over £50 million for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a right back with only one season of senior experience under his belt, earlier in the window.
City have recognised the situation at Juventus, where they need to balance the books after the big money signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs De Ligt in the past two summer windows, and have taken advantage of it by prising Cancelo from their grips for a fee that is surely well below market value.
Their ruthlessness must be admired. It’s just two years since they made Walker the most expensive full back in football history and now after one below-par season they have already replaced him with a stronger option. This is the sort of joined-up thinking that has made Man City the team they are today and the addition of Cancelo only underlines this further.
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