With rumors emerging that Manchester City are close to re-signing Angelino, bringing him back would be a wise move.
What the fee will ultimately be is not yet clear. PSV are claiming that the buy-back clause is worth £10.5 million, while City claim it sits at just £5.35 million. Despite this dispute, PSV have all but confirmed that Angelino will be departing the club in the coming days.
Regardless of what he ultimately costs to bring back, however, Manchester City may have a bargain on their hands.
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After flashing some potential in a loan spell at NAC Breda in the Eredivisie in 2017-18, Angelino emerged as one of Europe’s most promising young left-backs last season after making a permanent move to PSV.
Angelino is an elite attacking talent at the full-back position. In 34 league appearances last season, he racked up a goal and ten assists, an incredible haul for someone playing in defense. He also averaged two key passes per game in the league, and completed 77.5% of his 54.3 passes per game.
Angelino was a crucial part of PSV’s attack. With his great dribbling and pace, he was able to beat opposing defenders consistently and burst into space to get off crosses. His delivery on his crosses was pinpoint too. According to WhoScored, he had the most accurate crosses in the league last season (51) when excluding corners. You can see some of his attacking skills on display in this highlight package.
He’s also a consistent threat on free-kick deliveries. Angelino hit many threatening balls into the box that created chances for his teammates on these. He also posed a threat on the ones he took himself. This has been another skill that he’s always had in his pocket and has begun to expand on more as his career has gone by.
Aided by the fact that he played in the midfield at times earlier in his career, Angelino has kept and expanded on the attacking skills he developed in City’s youth academy and in his various spells on loan. His crossing, vision, and creativity are elite for a full-back already, and could become even better as he continues to develop. Few full-backs in Europe possess the attacking talent he already has.
What made Angelino’s season last year stand out, though, was that he began to improve on the defensive side of the game. Though his tackling skills remain raw, he did make some significant strides on that end last year.
After averaging less than a tackle a game while on loan at NAC Breda in 2017-18. Angelino averaged 2.2 tackles per game in 34 league appearances last season. In the UEFA Champions League, against stiffer competition, he still showed improvement, averaging 1.2 tackles per game.
Angelino has always had a high defensive IQ. His ability to read plays as they develop and break them up has always been solid, as evidenced by the fact that he’s averaged over 1.7 and 1.4 interceptions per game in each of the past two seasons. Where he’s needed to develop and improve, though, is in his tackling, something that he began to make strides towards doing last season.
A more comprehensive breakdown of his entire profile is provided by the always insightful Esteemed Kompany, Steven Mcinerney, below:
Angelino finished last season with a form rating of 7.55 in the league and a 6.86 in the UCL. His league rating made him the highest rated defender in the league on WhoScored.com, a noteworthy achievement when you consider that he played in the same league as highly coveted center-back, Matthijs de Ligt.
Angelino would make a fantastic addition to Manchester City’s squad. Given that he plays in a position where City have struggled for depth in recent seasons, he would make the perfect compliment to Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben Mendy. If he can continue to develop, it’s not difficult to envision him becoming something comparable to Andy Robertson, or Jordi Alba in his best case scenario.
His homegrown status, and squad trained status specifically, makes him a valuable roster asset as well. City currently lack a ton of homegrown talents, especially ones who came through their academy. To make their roster construction comply with UEFA and FA rules, they need players like Angelino not just filling out positions on their team, but being able to do a job. He has more than enough quality already to play against most opposition.
Even if City are just buying him back to sell him to someone else, which rumors suggest may happen, they could make a significant profit off his sale, aiding them in their ability to sign players elsewhere in the squad.
Manchester City would be wise, though, to give Angelino a chance next season. With Ben Mendy’s health status always uncertain, and Zinchenko coming off just one hot stretch, City could use insurance at left-back. Angelino would provide the cheap option to fill that role, but with considerable upside to boot. He’s the ideal option for a team that’s sorely needed someone to fill that position.