25 | Manuel Akanji - 2023/24

Don't want to ever see him in midfield again, he's not a midfielder by any stretch.
But as a defender, he's great, excellent tonight and deserved his motm.
No idea what match you've watched tonight,
but Akanji has actually played left midfield while rarely had to go back to defend.

HE had a great finish when the whole ground was calling for some effort, HE rushed through midfield when the rest waited til Brentford got back in position.

He is versatile on all positions across the back plus - sad to say about John - he is top fit most of the time.

John looks cooler in the mid but Akanji takes more risks passing forward. What an asset to have.

Seen Pep's presser post match? "Amazing. Amazing!"
(on Manu and John).
Think he's clearly very comfortable playing as a CB who steps into midfield as opposed to playing as a midfielder full-time.
Another switch in position, another solid performance. I don't think we give enough credit to players who change position regularly, it's a difficult thing to do for anybody but it's especially difficult in a pep side.
He was my personal MotM.

While I can easily see Ederson or Foden as obvious picks, Akanji somehow going into this role and doing so well is a good sign.

This team has great defenders. Sometimes they are asked to do things other defenders don't do (Stones pushing up), when they can do it well we should praise them for it.
Sheer class, in terms of value has to be one of the finest signings in our history.
He should ALWAYS be in our best XI, IMO.

Pep agrees. But will rotate him sometimes to keep him fresh for the biggest games.

Who is going to miss out at Anfield if all defenders are fit? Most people would probably say Akanji and Gvardiol, but I think Pep disagrees with them. A nice problem to have.

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