Arsenal Eye Prize Catch in Cancelo Pursuit
Arteta’s Squad Looks to Capitalise on Manchester City’s Dilemma
The Etihad Exile
It’s no secret that Mikel Arteta has a keen eye for talented players, and the Arsenal boss is reportedly looking to beef up his full-back options. His crosshairs are firmly locked on to Joao Cancelo, who’s found himself in a spot of bother at Manchester City. The rumour mill is rife with reports of a falling out between Cancelo and City manager Pep Guardiola, which has supposedly seen Cancelo’s days at the Etihad Stadium numbered. Football Insider reported that the 29-year-old Portuguese ace has been told to pack his bags following a high-profile bust-up.
“Cancelo ticks a lot of boxes for Arsenal” – so says a source close to the club. The former Manchester City man, whose contract runs until June 2027, brings a wealth of experience and an enviable trophy cabinet – three league titles, two League Cups, and a Champions League since joining in 2019. Not to mention, he contributed to Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga title during his German sojourn, adding one goal and six assists in 21 appearances.
A Homecoming of Sorts
Arteta’s familiarity with Cancelo from their time together at Manchester City adds another layer of intrigue to this plot. The potential move seems even more enticing for Arsenal, considering the calibre of player they would be securing. And with a buy option worth a reported £61.5 million that Bayern Munich is unlikely to activate, the Gunners could be in prime position to swoop in.
Filling the Gaps at the Emirates
Arsenal’s 2022-23 campaign saw them using Ben White, a natural centre-back, on the right side of their defence. With Cedric Soares and Takehiro Tomiyasu as the only other options, who spent the season largely as spectators, Cancelo’s addition would bring much-needed stability and flair.
“He acted like a child”, was what an unnamed Manchester City staff member told The Times, referring to Cancelo’s behaviour when dropped. Guardiola then told his director of football, Txiki Begiristain, that Cancelo “had to go” in January. How poetic it would be if Cancelo finds a renaissance in his career at the Emirates Stadium.
This saga is unfolding rapidly, and as reported by Football Insider, the anticipation amongst the Arsenal fanbase is palpable. Only time will tell if Cancelo swaps the blue of Manchester City for the iconic red and white of Arsenal.