Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji has drawn interest from one of the Premier League giants, i.e., Arsenal. The Swiss national has made 24 appearances for Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season, and his pace has proven to be a challenge for some of the finest forwards in Bundesliga.
Akanji is expected to play every single game for the rest of the season, as Dan-Axel Zagadou has been ruled for the rest of the season with a ruptured knee ligament. This might be the perfect time for Akanji to prove himself to the manager, Lucien Favre, who has evidently favoured Zagadou over Akanji because of how error-prone Akanji is.
The three most notable games where Akanji has cost his side heavily were away to Union Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt, and SC Freiburg. Borussia Dortmund secured only 2 points out of the possible 9. Akanji’s errors could very well be the reason Borussia Dortmund fail in their attempt to catch up with the league leaders, Bayern Munich.
Unless Akanji considerably improves his performances till the end of the season, Favre would consider offloading him to Arsenal, who are rumoured to be willing to sign Akanji for 25 million euros. Further, with Lukasz Piszczek signing a one-year contract extension, the competition for a place in the starting eleven only gets harder for the next season.
Akanji started Dortmund’s most recent game in the league against Schalke 04, where he was commanding in a 4-0 thumping over the club’s biggest rivals. If Akanji is determined to fight for his place at Borussia Dortmund, he would have to maintain levels of performance similar to his display against Schalke.
Arsenal’s interest in a young central defender who possesses the strength and speed comes as no surprise. Akanji would be the perfect fit for the Gunners, who have struggled to find central defenders who can cope with the pace and physicality of the league.
Should Akanji move to Arsenal, Dortmund would have to replace him with another young central defender with similar qualities. Defenders like these are scarce, so Dortmund should be wary of the consequences, whatever their decision may be.