Joao Cancelo bench duty explained as Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic claims he hasn't TRAINED well enough
- Portuguese joined on loan in January
- Has slipped out of favour
- Still has plenty to prove in Germany
WHAT HAPPENED? The versatile Portugal international linked up with the Bundesliga champions during the January transfer window after bidding farewell to Premier League title holders Manchester City. An initial loan deal does include a €70 million (£62m/$74m) purchase option, but that appears unlikely to be triggered at present as Cancelo has quickly slipped out of favour at the Allianz Arena.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Sporting director Salihamidzic has told reporters of the reasons for Cancelo’s enforced absence from Bayern’s recent starting XIs: “Lately he hasn't been training and playing quite as had been imagined.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cancelo saw just four minutes as a substitute in Bayern’s 2-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday that saw them through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Others are currently being favoured in left and right-back berths, but Salihamidzic still expects a marquee loan addition to come good. He added: “Joao will become a very important player. We communicate well with him. He's an outstanding player who will become important in the future.”
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WHAT NEXT? Cancelo has taken in seven appearances for Bayern so far, but only four starts, and remains under contract back at parent club City through to the summer of 2027. He will, however, get another opportunity to impress his loan employers against Augsburg on Saturday, with Julian Nagelsmann telling reporters: "As of now, he gets the chance to play from the start. He's always had a good reaction. One training session wasn't so good, but afterwards we had a very good conversation. The conversation was very open, did him a lot of good. He's happy on the pitch again."