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Joao Cancelo’s admission to Pep Guardiola may help him reclaim a starting spot for Manchester City.

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Joao Cancelo’s admission to Pep Guardiola may help him reclaim a starting spot for Manchester City.

The Manchester City full-back will be frustrated by his recent lack of playing time, but he has demonstrated that he is capable of returning to his best.

Joao Cancelo has fallen out of favor with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since the end of the World Cup.

The once unstoppable full-back has been an unused substitute for the Blues in the Premier League on three occasions. He was used sparingly against Leeds United and Chelsea, and despite starting against the latter, he was replaced at halftime.

With Guardiola looking for a change on Sunday, the fact that Rico Lewis was replaced by Nathan Ake rather than Cancelo or Kyle Walker was perhaps telling. Despite Cancelo’s importance to the team’s success last year, the Catalan manager has made it clear where his preferences lie in defense.

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Of course, this is not Cancelo’s first experience with playing second fiddle. The full-back struggled to break into the first team when he first arrived at the Etihad from Juventus.

There had been reports of a rift between Guardiola and his player, but Cancelo put those fears to rest in February of last year. He also demonstrated how he was able to turn his fortunes around and become such a key player.

Cancelo elaborated: “There were issues with the coach because of how the team was playing. At Juventus, I played in a different way because I wanted to enjoy football and play.

It was my responsibility, not the coach’s, and it was my fault. I regained my desire to win in life and football.

“I’m happy, and credit to me because I worked hard to become the player I am today.” This desire is something the Portugal international must now replicate if he is to regain his place in the first-team.

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The key to regaining Guardiola’s favor is simple: work hard and focus on your game in training, and you’ll likely work your way back into the starting lineup.

On Friday, when Arsenal visits in the FA Cup, there will be an opportunity to reclaim a place in the starting lineup. Guardiola is expected to rotate his team, as he did against Chelsea, and Cancelo is expected to start.

If the 28-year-old can maintain his last season’s level of performance, there’s a good chance he’ll find his way back into Guardiola’s starting lineup on a more regular basis. However, as previously stated, he must follow his own advice beginning in 2022 and ensure that frustration does not cloud his desire to improve.

Joao Cancelo’s admission to Pep Guardiola may help him reclaim a starting spot for Manchester City.

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