Portugal international João Cancelo was heavily praised by Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola after starring in a 4-0 win at Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening.
Cancelo payed at left-back as goals from Raheem Sterling (2), Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte gave City a comprehensive victory, and the Portuguese was widely regarded as one of the best players in a convincing team performance.
Speaking after the match, Guardiola was happy to devote his time to discussing Cancelo’s progress following his big-money move from Juventus last summer, since when he has struggled at times to earn playing time despite some credible performances for the Citizens this season.
“The most incredible thing for João is he is now a completely different man to when he arrived,” Guardiola said. “We needed time to understand each other. What I want is what he has been doing after the restart.
“When we came back he was the best player in training. He was incredible, but unfortunately had a problem in his leg and stopped for a while.
"All I want from João is for him to be happy in training, because we know his quality.
“He understands us better than the beginning. Sometimes you need time. We are delighted with his last two months.”
Bernardo Silva also started the match for City, playing the full ninety minutes and recording a typically high 95% pass completion rate. Cancelo was the City starter with the highest pass completion, racking up an impressive 97% which no doubt contributed to his manager’s appraisal.
By Sean Gillen