The spotlight has been clearly on Erling Haaland as he continues a brilliant start to his career at Manchester City, scoring goals for fun and breaking records while at it. And while his fellow new signings at the club Stefan Ortega and Kalvin Phillips are yet to make any imprint on the team, Akanji is already making a name for himself at the Etihad Stadium.
His composed performance in the derby against Manchester United earned him widespread praise. United legend Rio Ferdinand even compared him to Vincent Kompany.
Currently missing John Stones and Kyle Walker in defence due to injuries, City would have been sweating over their fitness if Akanji was not available to fill the void. But the England pair have hardly been missed as the new signing has eased his way into the team.
Responding to comparisons being drawn between him and City legend Vincent Kompany, the 27-year-old expressed appreciation for the gesture, but insisted that he is not trying to copy the club's former captain. He is only trying to do his best to help the team win.
“Of course that is nice,” he said. “Vincent was the best defender in the Premier League and being compared to him is a big honour. But I do my own thing, I;m not trying to copy Vincent Kompany. I’m trying to do my thing," Akanji said in a recent interview.
Suffice to say that the Switzerland international could prove to be one of the most important signings at City if he continues in his current form. He brings experience and calmness to the defence that can help the Blues some of the most difficult fixtures and periods in the season.
Pep Guardiola and his team have had serious problems at the back in the past that cost the team dearly, particularly in Europe. It does appear Akanji could be the missing piece that will complete the puzzle.
However, it’s still early days and there’s still a lot to come in the season. But if the centre back continues with this rich vein of form, alongside former teammate in Germany Erling Haaland, the duo can help City finally conquer Europe. Such a feat could highlight his signing as one of the best ever made at the Etihad Stadium.
For now though, there’s the little matter of a job to do at Anfield next weekend. With Arsenal holding on to top spot on the league table, City need to up their game to prevent an unlikely upset come season’s end.