Former Manchester United player Gary Neville has revealed he told the club to sign now-Manchester City star Joao Cancelo when he was coming through the ranks at Valencia.
Joao Cancelo won Man of the Match, yet again, from Sky Sports’ co-commentator Gary Neville after his thrilling performance in the Manchester derby on Saturday afternoon.
The Portuguese international caused the first goal, with his left-footed cross turned into the United goal by Eric Bailly. Minutes before half-time, he was the provider again, setting up Bernardo Silva to double City’s lead.
After a year of integration, Cancelo has reinvigorated the full-back role and is contributing attacking numbers you’d expect of a left-winger.
Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast post-match, the ex-Manchester United star was discussing the game and revealed an interesting insight into Cancelo’s development from his time working with the full-back at Valencia.
“I loved him when he was out there. There was a vulnerability about him as he was so young,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“He’s so hard on himself, in training he used to be his (own) critic. If he made a mistake, he’d throw his arms on the ground and start cursing himself and I used to say to him “give yourself a break”
Neville continued, “I had him as a very young player at Valencia but you could just see exceptional talent. I made calls back to England, you could imagine which club I’m talking about, saying “if you’d ever take a young player, he’s one you’d take.”
If it wasn’t obvious, the club he’s referring to is his old employer, Manchester United.
Ultimately, the Red Devils didn’t pursue Joao Cancelo – and via Juventus – the 27-year-old joined Manchester City and has turned into one of the best full-backs in Europe.
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