Barcelona doesn’t seem to wait around much, do they? The fact that Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is set to stay in London for the foreseeable future has sent the Barcelona scouting team into overdrive as they look to bring in some quality to cover Dani Alves.
The Brazilian is set to leave Barcelona according to certain reports and the Catalan club are set to make a move for another Valencia defender in Joao Cancelo. The 22-year-old right back has been one of the bright spots for Los Che this season and his performances could lead him to a big money move to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Not many would have known about Cancelo but he does seem to be the answer for Barcelona at the moment. Both Bellerin and Cancelo are young and willing to do a lot of running. We compare the seasons they had for their respective clubs last time around and just see what Barcelona have gotten themselves into.
Portugal vs Spain
Both players are known to have attacking games and with Barcelona depending heavily on their full-backs to join the forwards, passing would be an extremely important factor for a player. Cancelo averaged a pass completion of 78% for every 90 minutes in La Liga last season, but Bellerin tops this stat with a pass completion of 86% in the Premier League last season.
Since the players would need to attack a lot, they would end up creating chances as well and it is the Portuguese defender who just shades Bellerin when it comes to creating chances. Cancelo averaged 0.68 chances per 90 minutes while Bellerin created just 0.61 chances per 90 minutes for Arsenal last season.
In the tackling department Cancelo won 1.78 tackles per 90 minutes for Valencia while Bellerin came in with 1.31 tackles for Arsenal in the Premier League. Even though the La Liga star had more tackles per 90 minutes, he didn’t have the best of take ons last season with a success rate of 52%, while the Spanish star won 66% of his take ons for Arsenal in the Premier League last season.
Aerial duels however seem to be the answer for Cancelo as he won 60% of his duels while Bellerin won only 50% of his aerial duels last season. Anticipating play seems to be another one of Cancelo’s strengths as he averaged 2.89 interceptions per game last season in the league while Bellerin only brought in 1.86 interceptions.
All in all, Barcelona seems to have linked up the right player since they couldn’t get their hands on Bellerin. Cancelo might not have won all the battles and duels compared to Bellerin but at 22-years-old, he has time on his hands and could well become a top player at Barcelona next season.