Pep Guardiola admits mistakes during Cancelo's early Man City struggles

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Pep Guardiola admits mistakes during Cancelo's early Man City struggles

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola admitted he initially got things wrong with Joao Cancelo, which contributed to the fullback's early struggles at the Premier League club.

Portugal international Cancelo joined City in 2019 from Italian side Juventus, but found it difficult to adapt and was unable to hold down a regular spot in the City side.

Now, after signing a contract extension this week committing him to the league leaders until 2027, Cancelo is one of City's standout performers.

"Everybody knows how important Joao is for us after what we have done in the last two seasons," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with Fulham.

"We struggled together in the first part where he arrived - we did not agree on many things, partly because of my mistakes, but now he is an incredible person and I'm so delighted that he's happy here and can play in this club for the next years.

"I understand we know each other much better now. Every player must be treated differently. He has a big heart and is so sensitive. I needed more time to understand him. And finally, I think now I understand him even more."

Guardiola also praised the club's work in securing the signing of Julian Alvarez from River Plate on a five-and-a-half-year deal.

The 22-year-old forward will remain at the Buenos Aires side on loan until July, before joining up with his new City team-mates.

"Congratulations to the club - they work to be in the present but of course the future," Guardiola added.

"He is a player that could be already with us now but we have enough players, I don't like to have too many players in several positions.

"The best is stay in River Plate, he's done incredibly well. In the next pre-season he'll be with us, after we'll decide what happens, every season the squad moves. I am personally really pleased to have this talented young player for the next years."

The City boss also said Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus is a doubt for Saturday's home FA Cup clash with Fulham, after he returned from international duty with a slight injury.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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