Men's Team

Dunne: Class act Cancelo is like a defensive number 10!

Dunne: Class act Cancelo is like a defensive number 10!
Richard Dunne says City star Joao Cancelo has elevated his inspired all-round game to such an extent that he deserves to be bracketed as a defensive number ten!

The Portuguese international has been in quite magnificent form for City this term, impressing both defensively and further forward with his technique and vision adding an extra exciting dimension to Pep Guardiola’s side

Signed primarily as a right back in the summer of 2019, the 27-year-old has again demonstrated his flexibility this term by assuming the left back role with aplomb.

As well as scoring two goals, Cancelo has also provided numerous assists, the latest of which was a stunning long-range pass with the outside of his left foot to set up Raheem Sterling’s opener in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Everton.


And speaking on our latest edition of Matchday Live, former City skipper Dunne said Cancelo’s ability was also helping to inspire the best out of his colleagues too.

“I don’t know if he is a full-back - he is the defensive equivalent of a number 10,” Dunne declared.

“City’s left back links the whole team together. He can create from everywhere, his passing is brilliant and his dribbling is ridiculous.

WATCH: City 3-0 Everton: Highlights

“His understanding of the game is insane. He’s so fluent in how he moves and kicks the ball - you just don’t know where he is going to pop up!”

The former City and Republic of Ireland skipper’s warm words regarding Cancelo were echoed by fellow former Etihad central defensive talisman, Joleon Lescott.

The ex-England international – now a part of England’s Under-21 coaching team – described Cancelo in similar effusive terms to left-back icons Phillip Lahm and Ashley Cole


“It’s a credit to him that teams will have to set up to combat against him,” Lescott asserted.

“I can’t remember the last time I can remember that - maybe Ashley Cole. He’s so comfortable anywhere on the field.

WATCH: The best of Joao Cancelo

“Probably the only other defender that was comfortable anywhere was Phillip Lahm.

“It’s remarkable. I wouldn’t label him with a position - he’s just a footballer.

“Technically he’s very very, good. Those qualities combined shows that he can operate in any position.

“On Sunday, the way Cancelo picked Sterling out with a ridiculous pass (for the first goal). You just went Wow!

"I don’t know if many creative players can do that.”


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