Manchester City’s new centre-back was a transfer no one saw coming on Deadline Day.
The Swiss international started in central defense alongside Ruben Dias as City beat Sevilla 4-0 in their opening game in Group G with goals from Erling Haaland (2), Phil Foden and Dias.
“I’m happy, and I’m tired… But the most important thing is of course that we got the three points, that we kept zero as a team and I’m very happy that I was able to help the team.” said Akanji after his debut.
“The guys made me really comfortable. I had a lot of space on the ball, [I] always had the opportunity to play a pass. I like to have the ball, to pass from behind, and here with these guys with so much quality, it seems easy to me.”
The 27-year-old moved to Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund for £15 million just six days before playing at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium amid ongoing injury problems in central defence.
Akanji admitted he was delighted to be signing for the club and revealed that Haaland was in contact with him prior to the transfer, someone he had played with at Borussia Dortmund.
“He [Haaland] texted me before I came and when City called you I didn’t have to think twice!
“He only told me good things about the club and I’m glad I made the decision to come here.”
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Pep Guardiola was also impressed with the debut of the new signing who liked him as one of his current players on his squad.
“A very good central defender who bought Man City. He has [Akanji] did very well, his focus, attention. I see a quality very similar to Aymer [Laporte], can break the rules with a pass. He read spaces very well. Very happy for him” said Guardiola.