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Manchester City

Akanji not at Man City to be a 'random player' as £15m defender takes inspiration from Haaland

15:01 EAT 12/09/2022
Manuel Akanji Manchester City 2022-23
Manuel Akanji is not at Manchester City to be a “random player”, with the Swiss defender taking inspiration from fellow summer signing Erling Haaland.
  • Akanji says he's ready to compete
  • Joined from Borussia Dortmund
  • Made his debut in Champions League

WHAT HAPPENED? The 27-year-old centre-back completed a £15 million ($17m) move from Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad Stadium on transfer deadline day. He is aware that competition is fierce at the reigning Premier League champions, but believes he has what it takes to emulate free-scoring striker Haaland by making a positive impression in English football.

WHAT THEY SAID: He told the Manchester Evening News of his ambition: "I also want to show I did not come here to be just a random player. I want to be on this team and play as much as possible. Some people might still have doubts about it and I need to prove to them I can do it, and that’s why I’m here.

"Even Erling when he came, there were questions over if he could do here the same. Of course, he’s proving them wrong. I want to prove myself. I know I am capable of doing it, but I need to show it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Akanji will be competing with the likes of Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for game time at City when everybody is fit. That is not the case at present, with Pep Guardiola having to draft reinforcements into his defensive unit due to a string of injuries.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR AKANJI? City, who have made an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 campaign, are due to be back in European action on Wednesday when they travel to Akanji’s former employers Dortmund.