With voting for the official Bundesliga Team of the Season into its final week, we take a closer look at Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.
When Borussia Dortmund last won the Bundesliga, most fans of European football were able to easily name the first-choice defence – Lukasz Piszczek, Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic and Marcel Schmelzer – such was the regularity in which they were fielded under Jurgen Klopp.
Bundesliga Team of the Season – YOU be the judge!
Lewandowski or Reus? Sancho or Thiago? Will Hasebe fly the flag for Asia? Or maybe starlet Havertz will earn a place? YOUR OPINION matters so it is time to cast your vote for the Official Bundesliga Team of the Season at https://tots.bundesliga.com/en/!
After six years of dominance by Bayern Munich, Dortmund could yet reclaim the title this weekend but defensively it has been a far different story in 2018/19.
Injury and form have played a part in the shuffling of the Dortmund backline, but one of the more constant presences has been Manuel Akanji, be it in the heart of defence alongside a variety of centre-back partners or even out on the flank, as he has done recently.
With 24 Bundesliga starts, Akanji has the second-most appearances of BVB’s defenders this season – behind only Abdou Diallo’s 27 – and has been a calming and reliable figure in a young backline.
With a 94 per cent pass completion rate (joint-third in the league), the Switzerland international has also been the building block of many a Dortmund attack that is usually finished off by the likes of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcacer.
The fact that, at the relatively young age of 23, Akanji has also been entrusted the captaincy in recent weeks, highlights just how highly rated his leadership is at Signal Iduna Park.
The Bundesliga title could yet prove beyond Dortmund’s reach this weekend, but it would take nothing away from what has been an excellent season for most of their players, including Akanji.
But has he done enough to warrant a berth in the Bundesliga Team of the Season? YOU be the judge by casting YOUR VOTE here!