The Portuguese full-back says the United States international has been his toughest opponent in the Premier League so far
Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has heaped praise on Christian Pulisic, describing the Chelsea star as “the most difficult winger I have faced”.
Cancelo has established himself as one of the most consistent performers in City’s squad since moving to Etihad Stadium from Juventus in the summer of 2019.
The 26-year-old has been the scourge of top attackers across the Premier League since finding his best form this season, but admits that he has been tested the most when coming up against Pulisic during City’s meetings with Chelsea.
What’s been said?
Cancelo told Star Sports Football: “I usually chat with my teammates about it. It may sound strange but for me, the most difficult winger I have faced in the Premier League is Pulisic from Chelsea.
“He is a very skilful and fast player with the ball with quick dribbles.
“So for me, he is the most difficult winger I have played.”
Pulisic vs Cancelo
Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund around the same time that Cancelo made his way to City, and the two teams have clashed three times since then – all in the Premier League.
Cancelo came out on top in their first battle in November 2019 as Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 2-1 victory over the Blues, who managed to get their revenge after the coronavirus enforced lockdown in June the following year.
Pulisic scored the opener as Chelsea beat City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to ensure that the title went to Liverpool, but Cancelo wasn’t named in the final matchday squad for that fixture.
The two men went toe to toe again on January 3, with the Citizens running out 3-1 winners in west London to pile pressure on Frank Lampard, who was relieved of his managerial duties by the Blues later in the month.
How has Pulisic performed this season?
Cancelo’s assessment of Pulisic is surprising given the struggles for form and fitness he has endured in 2020-21, with the United States international having yet to live up to the potential he showed in his first year at Chelsea.
Pulisic has featured in 25 games across all competitions, but has only registered two goals and one assist to date, and currently finds himself out of favour with new Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.
Pulisic will hope to force his way back into Tuchel’s plans when Chelsea take in a trip to Leeds United on Saturday.
Cancelo is also due back in action this weekend, with Premier League leaders City set to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.