‘Cancelo has something different’ – Gundogan applauds Manchester City team-mate as he impresses in new role


The German midfielder heaped praise on the defender after he scored a goal after providing an excellent assist on Tuesday against West Brom

Manchester City goalscorer Ilkay Gundogan was full of praise for team-mate Joao Cancelo, who he says has improved in a new role in the last few weeks, following their victory over West Brom.

Gundogan scored two of Manchester CIty’s five goals in Wednesday’s 5-0 win with Cancelo adding a goal of his own.

In addition to his goal, Cancelo provided the assist on Gundogan’s first goal, which opened the scoring in just the sixth minute.

Cancelo has settled in to a more regular role with Manchester City in recent weeks, despite struggling during the 2019-20 season, his first in the Premier League.

The former Juventus fullback’s role sees him acting as a pseudo-midfielder, with his playmaking ability on full display centrally.

His ability to adapt to that role has impressed Gundogan who, along with Cancelo, has Manchester City flying in recent weeks.

“[Joao Cancelo] has the ability to offer something a little bit different in the role,” Gundogan told BT Sport. “He gets a lot of touches and he has quality. I knew this, that’s why I made the run and the ball was perfect.

“He’s doing well, especially the last few weeks. We need this rhythm to maintain this level and we’re going to get even more moments

“We will try our best, we had a few plays in the last couple of weeks in a few different conditions, struggling with injuries, all the players are getting more and more ready.

“Obviously Kevin [De Bruyne] is a big miss for us but we have players who will get more game time and we need everyone because everyone gives us a different quality we need to keep going.”

While Gundogan was quick to give credit to Cancelo, the German midfielder is also in strong form. He has now scored six goals in his last 10 games, which hasn’t been a surprise to Man City boss Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola said: “Gundo has this sense – after this, he is able to take a touch, slow down, take a second to compose and finish. We are delighted with what he is doing. The first season he was injured and we missed him a lot, since then his attitude and personality is outstanding.”

The midfielder, meanwhile, added that he is comfortable in a more attacking role as he has been given the chance to go forward more in recent weeks.

“There’s not really a secret [to my scoring],” he said. “I’m just in the right spaces at the right moment. I’m in a bit more of an offensive role, if I get the chance close to the box I try to make the right decisions – I just tried to do my best.”


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