Joao Cancelo, a standout defender over recent seasons with Manchester City, is on his way to Bayern Munich via loan. The surprising transfer only materialized the morning of Jan. 30, on the eve of the January transfer window.

The loan move, first reported by David Ornstein of The Athletic, includes an option to buy for Bayern Munich. That buy option after the half-season loan would be $76.3 million.

Recently, Cancelo fell out of favor at Manchester City. The emergence of Rico Lewis and strong performances from John Stones, Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake made the talented Portuguese excess to requirement. However, he is immensely talented.

Cancelo spent three and a half seasons at the Etihad, coming over from Juventus in the summer of 2019. His two most recent full seasons, 2020/21 and 2021/22, were huge successes. He secured a spot in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year at right back in both seasons. Along the way, Manchester City won both of the Premier League titles.

However, this season, Cancelo has not been his usual brilliant self. The downtick in form led to his spot on the bench at City. In the side’s last three games, Cancelo remained an unused substitute. This comes off the back of playing 36 out of 38 games in last season’s Premier League.

Bayern makes loan move for Joao Cancelo

That bench spot made him available to other teams. Bayern Munich came calling for Joao Cancelo with this loan move.

The club with 10-consecutive Bundesliga championships leads the league again. However, it has not been smooth sailing like previous years. Injuries and poor performances led to four clubs within three points of Bayern at the top of the table. That is largely due to three-straight 1-1 draws against RB Leipzig, Koln and Eintracht Frankfurt. The latter two were at home.

On the left side, Alphonso Davies is a lock. The Canadian is among the best fullbacks in the game. On the right side, however, there is some concern. Noussair Mazraoui is dealing with an injury, and Bayern does not want to jump straight in to playing him. Benjamin Pavard tends start on the right side, but even he found a bench spot in the most recent fixture. His replacement was Josip Stanišić, a 22-year-old academy product.

Therefore, Joao Cancelo has a natural spot to make Bayern’s defense one of the most threatening in Europe.