A player reportedly on the radar of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has earned praise for his playing style, while his own prior criticism of the man who manages the Gunners’ main rivals will likely endear him further to the red half of North London.
According to Fussball Transfers, Arsenal are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji this summer, rekindling interest with the Bundesliga side in January after missing out last summer.
Arteta is reportedly seeking to bolster his defensive options in the upcoming transfer window and, according to the above report, Dortmund are looking to do business for the Switzerland international for between 25million and 30million Euros (£22million to £27million).
Akanji has clocked up 76 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions since joining in January 2018 from Basel for a reported fee of just under £20million, and has also won 22 caps for Switzerland, including four at the 2018 World Cup.
A 6ft 1in versatile defender who is comfortable playing with either foot, Arteta could deploy him on the right or left of any centre-back partnership, as well as on either flank.
Akanji arrived at Dortmund to much fanfare, the Bundesliga website describing him as “the complete defender”, and although he has proven shaky at times, as he was on occasion against Schalke last time out, he is fairly young, is hard-working when it comes to improving himself, and has plenty of untapped potential.
The defender admits he was a fan of Manchester United when he was younger but, when asked by German outlet WAZ in December 2018 about whether he’d consider a move to Old Trafford, he said no, going on to slate their former manager.
“It’s true that from an early age I was a fan of Manchester United,” he said.
“But at the moment I’m not really looking at the games because I do not like the way they play under Jose Mourinho. I have no idea why [they play like that], I’m not in training. At the moment I am very happy in Dortmund.”