Football News

Ange Postecoglou has created his own João Cancelo

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:00, 13 December 2023 | Updated: 16:42, 14 December 2023

Tottenham returned to successful ways last time out through an empathic 4-1 win over Newcastle.

Ange Postecoglou’s men had strung together a 10-game unbeaten streak (eight wins and two draws) before hitting a roadblock. Spurs, who found themselves sitting atop the young Premier League table, would suffer a five-game winless run (one point).


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Tottenham would go in front each time before succumbing to a comeback. There were few positives in those setbacks one being Pedro Porro’s form. The full-back initially joined from Sporting in January on loan before his move was made permanent.

Porro seldom featured under ex-Lillywhites boss Antonio Conte but is now unquestionably Spurs’ first-choice right-back. As touched upon, Porro was a bright light as Tottenham endured setback after setback, across those outings he created three goals.

One came against Man City, a former club, though he was on their books for three years and never played a game. “No, I never spoke to Pep Guardiola,” he said earlier this year. “I don’t think he even knows they hired me [laughs]. But they must be attentive to what I have been doing.”

City like Spurs were looking for a full-back last winter but a reunion wasn’t on the cards. “Pedro Porro is a very good signing for Spurs — but we were not actively working to bring him here in January, no,” Guardiola told reporters. “Porro was on the list, but we didn’t think about the buy-back. He decided to go to Spurs.”

The reason England’s undisputed number-one club were in the market was due to João Cancelo’s sudden departure (on loan to Bayern Munich before leaving for Barcelona this summer). A move that surprised many given how well he’s performed for them subsequently raising the bar. For example, in the 2021/22 Premier League season, he was the only player with 50+ shots, 50+ aerial duels won, 50+ take-ons completed and 50+ tackles made.

As impressive as that may be, fast forward to 2023/24 and there’s another inverted Iberian that could end up in the Premier League Team of the Season due to similarly stunning stats. Yes, the aforementioned Porro has attempted more shots, made more tackles and won more ground duels than any other defender in England’s top division this season.

Not quite the same level of dribbler nor aerial presence as Cancelo, he is mirroring his Portuguese compatriot by establishing himself as one of the best full-backs in the league despite playing the position completely differently from anyone else. Even teammate Destiny Udogie operates in his unique way.

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