Pep Guardiola’s Philipp Lahm plan could mean Man City’s problem position remains unsolved – Jake Stokes

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm.

The 27-year-old’s two-and-a-half years at the Etihad Stadium have been packed with ups and downs. After looking set to leave the club he then became a key part of Pep Guardiola’s plans, only to find himself on the bench for last season’s Champions League final before taking his game to another level and being hailed as one of the best full-backs in Europe.

Cancelo, who has just penned a two-year contract extension keeping him at the Etihad until 2027, looks to have solved Guardiola’s left-back problems, though it’s not out of the question that his adaptability could see him move into yet another position.

in the MEN’s latest Facebook Live, City is Ours regulars Ross Jackson and Alex Brotherton discussed how Cancelo could be used even further up the pitch as Guardiola follows a blueprint from his Bayern days.

AB: “Philipp Lahm started out as a right-back, dabbled a bit at left-back and eventually moved into central midfield – Cancelo has had a very similar path under Pep in terms of left-back, right-back and we’ve already seen that he moves into central midfield quite a lot with City.”

Alex went on to add that he believes Cancelo shares a lot of the same qualities as Lahm and that his knowledge of the game and willingness to learn has helped him become so adaptable.

AB: “I think we could definitely see that [Cancelo moving into midfield]. If Joao Cancelo is still at City when he’s in his early 30s and perhaps Pep has someone else he wants to play at left-back then I don’t see why Cancelo won’t go through the transition that Lahm did -moving from full- back into midfield as he gets older.

“Cancelo definitely has those qualities; technical passing qualities, a very deep understanding of Guardiola’s positional play and he’s just very aware of what’s going on around him.

“As we see when he tucks in when City are building the play, he’s very good at supporting Rodri and he’s very penetrative as well. I definitely think he’s got the skillset to play in midfield.

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“Cancelo will be just as important to City as Lahm was to Bayern – they’re quite similar in how adaptable they are, the quality that they have but also the willingness to learn.”

It remains to be seen whether Cancelo will eventually be moved into midfield, but if Guardiola does see the Portugal international’s future in a more advanced role, it could be that City’s left-back dilemma rears its ugly head no sooner than it looked to have been. solved.

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Do you think Cancelo could move into midfield? Follow our City Is Ours trends writer jake stokes on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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