Chelsea are the latest club to have been linked with Valencia right-back Joao Cancelo, by Sky Sports, only days after the Daily Mail claimed that Tottenham may make a £25 million move for the full-back.
Who is he?
A 23-year-old Portugal international, Cancelo is primarily a right-back but can play anywhere along the right hand side and has also previously featured on the left. Heading into what could be a fourth season at Valencia, he has become one of La Liga’s most exciting talents.
Where has he been?
The full-back came through the ranks at Benfica back in Portugal, though he only made one first team appearance for the Eagles. He played mostly for the Benfica B team, registering 18 assists and scoring twice in 52 games, but was then sold to Valencia for an undisclosed fee after a loan spell. Cancelo has now established himself as first choice at Mestalla over the past two seasons, with four goals and nine assists in 90 games to date.
What’s his style of play?
Cancelo is an attacking minded full-back who can play anywhere along the right hand side. He would fit in well at wing-back or anywhere on the right flank. Cancelo loves to bomb down the wing on long dribbles before whipping the ball into the box, much like the wing-backs currently at both clubs.
What would his arrival mean for either side?
For both sides, it seems likely that Cancelo would simply add depth. Neither squad is particularly strong at wing-back and both will be looking to add to the ranks in order to keep competition up with the likes of Victor Moses or Kieran Trippier. Neither of those players have recognised senior players competing with them for a starting spot at their respective clubs.
Cancelo may also offer a versatile option to play on the left flank if required or even further forward on the right. That is more likely to be deployed at Chelsea, where he may cover for the likes of Pedro or Willian.