The versatility of City’s Swiss £15 million bargain has become invaluable

The versatility of Manchester City’s Swiss defender Manuel Akanji has become an invaluable part of Pep Guardiola’s side this season. Since his unheralded arrival from Borussia Dortmund for £15 million (as reported by SkySports) Akanji has become crucial to the European champions.

On Manchester City’s march to the treble last season, Akanji lined up all across defence for Pep Guardiola. He played primarily as a centre-back but also played at left and right back when required. His versatility plus his ability made him an important part of the City squad. The assumption was when Akanji was signed from Dortmund that he’d only be a squad player for Manchester City. By the end of last season, he had become a vital part of the Manchester City defence.

This season has seen Akanji develop yet another string to his bow. With injury restricting John Stones to only 6 appearances in all competitions Pep Guardiola needed someone to step into the role of the England international. City’s Swiss defender has stepped up in the absence of Stones. The addition of another tool in his toolkit has made Akanji one of City’s more important players.

Against Liverpool, it was arguably Akanji’s best performance in his new role of the season. He was poised and rarely beaten at the back and provided support in midfield when City had possession. As the game wore on the Swiss international looked more like a number six than a centre-half.

Speaking after City’s draw with Liverpool the defender said he feels comfortable in midfield. He said: “The manager trusts me to play in this position and I try to do my best. I felt comfortable today and we’ll see in the future where I play.

Akanji’s versatility has become invaluable for City. His recent performances suggest he is growing into his new role either at the back or stepping into midfield.

Tags Borussia Dortmund English Premier League European Champions John Stones Liverpool Manchester City Manuel Akanji Pep Guardiola Treble winners