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Wolves had a shocker on Joao Cancelo

Wolverhampton Wanderers were reportedly close to signing Joao Cancelo in 2018 and considering his rapid rise to the top since then, the Old Gold will surely be rueing not completing a deal for him four years ago.

It was suggested that, following Wolves’ promotion back to the Premier League, they could bring in the Portuguese full-back on a permanent deal from Valencia.

The Midlands club’s connections to super agent Jorge Mendes seemingly gave them a real chance of signing the versatile defender but in the end, he would join Juventus in a deal worth £36m.

After spending just one season with the Old Lady, in which he contributed one goal and five assists in 34 appearances, Manchester City acted quickly to bring him to the Premier League, paying £60m for his services in the summer of 2019.

Since then, the Portugal international has established himself as one of the best full-backs in world football, impressing as both a right-back and a left-back in Pep Guardiola’s side.

In 149 appearances for the Citizens, the 28-year-old has contributed an impressive nine goals and 22 assists, earning a spot in the Premier League team of the year for his performances last season, when he helped City to another domestic title.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

1. Wolves kick-started 2022 with an impressive win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, who scored the winner?

City legend Paul Dickov was full of praise for Cancelo last season after a superb goal against Newcastle United.

He said: “He’s been outstanding. He’s assisting and scoring goals himself and for me, he’s the best full-back, in terms of creating stuff, and how important he is to the team.

“Any player in the world would be proud of that goal. He pops up in all positions on the pitch. He’s in control of the ball the whole time and the finish into the top corner was sensational.

“Nine times out of 10 he tends to start every single game – it shows how much Pep trusts him.”

This season has seen the defender average an incredible 7.15 rating from WhoScored for his performances, which is significantly better than any player in Wolves’ squad has managed.

It is no surprise therefore that CIES Football Observatory now values the City star at £97m, and Wolves will be seriously regretting not getting a deal for him over the line while he was still relatively unknown at Valencia.