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Pep Guardiola and Phil Foden have piled praised on Manchester City full back Joao Cancelo after his performance in the side’s 4-1 win over Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League.
The Portuguese defender, who often occupies midfield spaces for City, assisted three of their goals as they cruised to victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Cancelo has strung together some fantastic performances since the beginning of last season and has featured in 16 of their 17 games this season.
“He has been playing incredibly well all season,” said the City boss at his post-match press conference.
“Of course, he sometimes has to improve his quality. He has highs and lows, but he has a special ability to do something good.”
Foden, who scored the first goal for Manchester City after linking up with Cancelo, has labelled his teammate as one of the best attacking full-backs in the world.
The right-footed defender produces 6.99 progressive passes and makes 8.28 carries per 90 minutes.
His ability in the role he plays under Pep has shown dividends defensively also, with 2.78 interceptions in that time period also.
However, what stands out for Cancelo is his influence on City’s work in the final third, as his 2.78 shot-creating actions attests to, as well as his high rate of passes attempted – which shows how integral he is to their play.
For a full-back, he sits in the 90th percentile range for many progressive stats on fbref.com and is even closer to the top of the pile in some stats.
“Joao is one of the best if not the best attacking full backs in world football right now, he is always adding goals and assists,” the midfielder told mancity.com.
“If one of the attackers is having an off day we need someone coming up with the goals and assists and he is always there in the big moments in the big games.
“We know he has got that quality in front of goal and he is sensational.”