Where does benched Joao Cancelo fit into Thomas Tuchel’s plans? Bayern Munich loan star gets game time assurance
- Portuguese moved to Germany in January
- Fell out of favour under Nagelsmann
- Among the substitutes against Dortmund
WHAT HAPPENED? The versatile Portugal international moved to the Allianz Arena from Manchester City on an initial loan agreement during the January transfer window. That deal includes a purchase option, but Cancelo quickly fell out of favour while working under Julian Nagelsmann. A change in the dugout has now been made by Bayern, but the 28-year-old saw Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies picked ahead of him in right and left-back berths for a convincing 4-2 victory over fellow Bundesliga title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Cancelo did replace Davies for the final 11 minutes of that contest, with Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic telling Kicker afterwards when asked about where a notable winter addition figures in the plans of a newly-appointed boss: “The coach made that decision today but Joao is a top player that we need. For sure Cancelo will get his games.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cancelo has started four Bundesliga games for Bayern, but he has been unable to nail down one specific role and continues to see questions asked of whether he will be allowed to return to England once a short-term loan agreement comes to a close at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.
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WHAT NEXT? Cancelo is still tied to a contract at City through to 2027, having previously helped them to two Premier League titles, but it remains to be seen where his long-term future will lie as he attempts to convince ex-Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel of his worth.