Joao Cancelo is joining Barcelona on a loan deal for this season. The Spanish club has an obligation to make the move permanent after this season if it reaches the Champions League round of 16. Cancelo, who spent the back half of last season on loan at Bayern Munich, is going back out on a temporary leave, for now.

Granted, the reported clause in the loan for Barcelona to buy is fairly likely. Barcelona won LaLiga a season ago. Therefore, it should have a somewhat easier group. However, Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage in each of the last two seasons. In each of those seasons, Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona in the group stage by a combined 11-0.

To combat some of those defensive woes, Barcelona boss Xavi made full-back his primary focus in the transfer market. The Catalan club moved Sergiño Dest on loan to PSV. Also, Jordi Alba left the club and now plays with Lionel Messi at Inter Miami. Moreover, Hector Bellerin left midway through last season after a failed stint at Camp Nou.

Therefore, Joao Cancelo arriving at Barcelona is a much-needed boost for Xavi’s squad. His defensive ability combines with one of the best forward-thinking full-backs to provide a dynamic option for the club.

Joao Cancelo joins Barcelona after disappointing campaign

While Manchester City was winning the treble, Joao Cancelo fell out of form and favor in Pep Guardiola’s side. City sent the Portuguese to Bayern Munich. There, he started most of his games with the Bavarians as they won the title on the last day. Also, he played in both legs as Bayern lost in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League to Manchester City.

Even though he is back with Manchester City officially, Cancelo has no intentions of staying permanently at the Etihad. That being said, he did feature with Manchester City in its preseason tour. In the club’s first two Premier League games, Cancelo was not in the matchday squad.