OFFICIAL: In-Demand La Liga Star Joins Juventus

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (L) and Valencia's Joao Cancelo in action.

REUTERS/Heino Kalis

Joao Cancelo has undergone medicals ahead of a move to Juventus, the club announced via its website today. Rumours about the deal have been doing the rounds for a while now.

Cancelo was previously contracted to Valencia. He spent last season on loan at Inter, and was among the better players in the club squad.

The transfer fee has been reported as €40 million. This sum makes him Juve’s second most expensive defender of all time; the record is held by Lilian Thuram’, who moved from Parma in 2001 for €41 million.

The 24-year-old is primarily a right-back. He can, however, play in the right midfield role, while also possessing the technical adeptness to slot in at left-back.

The Portuguese defender tallied 30 appearances in the past season. 24 of these were starts, with 6 appearances as a substitute. He earned an average Whoscored rating of 7.14 through the course of the season. Cancelo averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 1.3 clearances through these outings.

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His primary value is in defense itself: He had 1 goal and 3 assists over the course of last season. His pass completion rate of 83.5% should serve him well.

Juve won their seventh successive Serie A title this year. But they faced heartbreak in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid dumped them out for the second season running – this time, at the quarter-final stage.

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Juve’s backup right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has joined Arsenal as a free agent already. The Italians needed a quality replacement, and in Cancelo, they have found a really strong replacement for the Swissman, popularly known as ‘Forrest Gump’.

The Portuguese international has been a part of the national team setup since 2016. He was named to Portugal’s preliminary 35-man World Cup squad in May. But he failed to make the cut for the final 23-man roster.

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