Who is Angelino? Profile of left-back set to return to Man City on buy-back deal
Manchester City are considering a £5m deal to bring left-back Angelino back to the Etihad, one year after selling him to PSV Eindhoven.
But with Benjamin Mendy’s spell at the club beset by injury, City and boss Pep Guardiola have had to re-evaluate their left-back situation. Oleks Zinchenko stepped up last season and is set to battle Mendy for the starting spot next season.
And now Angelino has emerged as a new contender to complete Guardiola’s left-back options as City are considering activate their buy-back clause in his contract.
The 22-year-old had a productive season in Eindhoven last year, but is he ready to join a City squad that has won five out of the last six domestic trophies available to them?
Name: José Ángel Esmoris Tasende (Angelino)
Clubs: Deportivo de La Coruna, Man City, New York City (loan), Girona (loan), Mallorca (loan), NAC Breda (loan), PSV Eindhoven.
Joining City and loan spells
Joining City in 2013 from Deportivo de La Coruna’s youth ranks, Angelino experienced a series of loans that is becoming the norm for many players at the City Football Academy.
Angelino was an exciting raiding left-back in the City youth ranks, and proved adept at inverting into midfield, where his passing was a feature.
Having made a number of appearances for City at youth level, Angelino had a spell at sister club New York City FC in 2015. However, that lasted just four months – although he did register four assists in 14 appearances.
On his return to City, Angelino made three substitute appearances for the first team, in Champions League qualifying, the EFL Cup, and FA Cup.
It was not until January 2017 until Angelino was loaned out again, this time to Girona. But that spell was over a month later, before finally a more productive spell at Mallorca beckoned until the end of the 2016/17 season, and the Spaniard featured 17 times.
The following season, Angelino was loaned to NAC Breda in the Eredivisie, and a run of games and some consistency bore results.
Three goals and 7 assists in 35 appearances prompted journalist Yadran Blanco, who regularly watches NAC, to tell the MEN: “Offensively, he is the best left back in Eredivisie.
“We have seen City playing Zinchenko, and he was a sub at PSV last season [2016/17] – in Holland Angelino is seen as a better left back than Zinchenko.
“His defence is a little bit weak, but he is the best attacking player at NAC, along with another City player, Manu Garcia.
“Those two create the most chance – he has a role like Jordi Alba at Barcelona, to run down the left side, but in defence he is too small, and not as good.”
Permanent transfer to PSV
Angelino clearly made an impression in Holland, and PSV Eindhoven completed a £5m deal last summer to sign him permanently.
City wanted more, but settled on a £5m buy-back fee, which they now look like implementing.
“I received several offers, I chose to go to England and have no regrets,” Angelino told Marca. “I had several wonderful years and also thought the [English] language would help me find work if I could not be a footballer.
“I did not play much, but the six months I was with Pep (Guardiola) were a pleasure. You learn from a genius like him every day.
“I went from being with Pep to playing in the Segunda [División]… I didn’t really know where I was going.
“My idea was not to go out [on loan] so many times, but I’m happy because those decisions have helped me now to be at a top team.”
Returning to City
The defender had his best season in his career to date in Eindhoven, making 43 appearances for PSV at left back in variety of formations. His 10 league assists were the highest in the Eredivisie by any non-attacker.
Now, PSV manager Mark van Bommel says he does not expect Angelino to be at the club next season.
Van Bommel said: “The chance that he will still be a PSV player on 1 September is not very high.
“If Angeliño leaves tomorrow, I don’t know if we will have a successor the day after tomorrow.
“If only it were. We are dealing with clubs, agents, money, players, it is not all that easy.”