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Pep Guardiola teases João Cancelo



Pep Guardiola teases João Cancelo

Pep Guardiola has raved about Nathan Aké – and in doing so has not portrayed his ex-full-backs in a good light.

Pep Guardiola has sung the praises of Nathan Aké after winning the Premier League. His statements did not bode well for Bayern Munich’s João Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who defended on City’s flanks last year.

Guardiola called Aké one of the most important players on the road to the league title: “He was a pillar. What I’ve learned this season is that if you’re against [Bukayo] Saka, Vinicius [Junior], [Gabriel] Martinelli or earlier [Mohamed] salah as well [Sadio] When you have to play mané, you need a defender who can win one-on-one situations. It’s the same in the Champions League at the highest level. These people only need one situation to defeat you. We lacked that in the past.”

It was “the biggest boost” for City that Aké had given the team with his performance. The trained central defender made the leap to becoming a regular player this season and often played in the left-back position. A position that Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had moved to Arsenal, and Bayern loaner João Cancelo had held before their departures.

Nathan Aké joined Chelsea youth team from Feyenoord in 2011. The Dutchman did not prevail there even after several loan deals and switched to AFC Bournemouth in 2017 for almost 23 million euros. In 2020, City brought him to Manchester for 45 million euros.

Aké has been sidelined with a hamstring injury in recent weeks. Previously this season he made 28 competitive appearances in which he scored three goals.