Men's Team

Akanji: Guardiola and City are the perfect combination for me!

Manuel Akanji says the combination of joining the Premier League champions and working under Pep Guardiola is a dream come true.

The Swiss defender completed his move to City from Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, penning a five-year contract until the summer of 2027. 

City have won four of the last five English titles under the guidance of Guardiola, playing a brand of football revered the world over. 

It's been a glittering period in which City have won 11 major trophies and Akanji says he sees City as the perfect place to develop his career. 

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“I knew last year when I was at Borussia Dortmund that I wanted to make the next step in my career," he said.

"I wanted to get better. Now moving here to Manchester City under the command of Pep Guardiola, it can't get better than that.

"The combination of the coach and the club is perfect for me.

"I'm really looking forward to working with him and the rest of the coaching staff and my teammates”

Akanji is City’s fifth summer signing, joining Erling Haaland, Stefan Ortega Moreno, Kalvin Phillips and Sergio Gomez as new recruits. 

Indeed, it's been a summer of significant change for City, with Guardiola refreshing the squad after our dramatic title success in May.

Akanji admits the deal came as something of a surprise but says it was an opportunity he could not miss. 

“I'm really proud and really happy to be here,” he said.

“It was a bit unexpected in the last stage of the transfer market, but when Manchester City asked me if I wanted to come here, I had no doubts about moving here.

“I know the quality of this team. I'm here to prove myself as well. I want to show everyone that they were right in choosing me”

Meanwhile, Akanji has heaped praise on Erling Haaland.

The pair played together at Borussia Dortmund, with Haaland quick to call Akanji when he found out the defender was a City target.

The Norwegian made it nine goals in his first five Premier League games on Wednesday with a hat-trick in our 6-0 win over Nottingham Forest, his second treble in the space of four days. 

Akanji says, having seen Haaland up close, he feels he is the complete package. 

“He has an amazing combination of skills," Akanji said.

"He is fast and physically very strong, but he is also technically skillful.

"With the combination of both, he is a striker very difficult to stop.

"The way he uses his body makes him very hard to stop him.

"He keeps on working on his skills, he is still young and has so many years in front of him, but I think he will only get better”

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