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'All the qualities': Ex-Liverpool man can picture Manuel Akanji at Anfield

Former Liverpool centre-back Stephane Henchoz can see Manuel Akanji fitting in at Liverpool. The Borussia Dortmund defender has become a regular in black and yellow.

Manuel Akanji to Liverpool? There’s a chance of it, according to Stephane Henchoz. The former Reds defender believes his compatriot would fit right in at a ‘top 10’ club.

“Everyone speaks of world champion [Raphael] Varane and PSG player [Presnel] Kimpembe but, against France [at Euro 2020], Akanji was the best,” says Henchoz, per Blick

“He may be the only Swiss player who can play for one of the top ten clubs one day – Liverpool, Bayern, Manchester City or United, Barcelona, Real Madrid.

“I believe in him, he has all the qualities.”

Manuel Akanji to Liverpool?

There was a time when we’d have backed this signing pretty strongly. But that would have been before Dortmund signed Akanji back in 2018.

Back then, the Swiss centre-back looked like a future star and someone you could build a very solid defence around. In fact, Liverpool were reportedly interested.

The Independent wrote at the time that Liverpool were in the race. The Reds, however, planned on waiting until the summer before signing Akanji.

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Dortmund had other ideas, completing a deal in January 2018 before Liverpool were ready. Jurgen Klopp had to settle for Virgil van Dijk that month (who has done okay, to be fair).

But if we’re being honest, Akanji hasn’t really kicked on as many predicted. He’s a good centre-back but not an elite one – a ‘top 10’ club wouldn’t want him as an integral part of their defence.

And Liverpool, certainly, fit that description. They’ve got Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and now Ibrahima Konate as options. The first three are comfortably better players than Akanji and Konate will reach that level quickly.

So at 26, we don’t see any chance of Akanji joining Liverpool. Back in 2018, maybe. In 2021? The time has passed.

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