Friday, August 12, 2022

Arsenal Showing Interest In Recruiting This Borussia Dortmund Ace: Should Arteta Snap Him Up?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition, Gazzetta dello Sport stated that Arsenal are showing interest in recruiting Borussia Dortmund ace Manuel Akanji this summer. It is understood that the Gunners are eyeing a move for the Swiss sensation in this off-season.

Akanji’s Impressive Form In German Football Last Season

Akanji had a solid campaign at Signal Iduna Park as he was responsible for putting in a handful of dominant displays on the defensive end of the pitch. The 27-year-old participated in 36 matches for the German outfit last season, netting one goal in multiple competitions.

The Swiss sensation was a rock at the back after he averaged 1.3 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.1 clearances per game in Bundesliga. He was even accurate when distributing the ball from inside his half, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 90.6% in the German top tier (stats via whoscored).

Arsenal (Manuel Akanji)
Dortmund’s Swiss defender Manuel Akanji plays the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig in Dortmund, western Germany, on April 2, 2022. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
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Should Arsenal Snap Akanji Up This Summer?

Akanji can get stuck in with some solid tackles to make life tough for the opposition attackers. He is usually quick to spot the danger and can make some timely interceptions at the back. The Swiss talent doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when needed and can use his strong 1.88m frame to dominate the opposition in the air. He is primarily a centre-back but can even fill in at right-back if required.

At 27, Akanji is currently playing at the top of his game and can make an instant impact at the Emirates Stadium if Mikel Arteta can get him on board this summer. However, there are some concerns over whether Akanji can cope with the high intensity of Premier League football.

The Dortmund star will add more bite and steel to Arsenal‘s backline. Plus, Akanji could offer some serious competition for Ben White and Gabriel for a regular starting spot at the North London club. He could even help the Gunners compete for a top-four place in the Premier League next season. Thus, Arteta should focus on snapping Akanji up before the end of this summer transfer window as long as he can get him for a fair price.

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