Paul Merson has claimed that Pep Guardiola should not be using Manuel Akanji as a left-back at Manchester City.

The defender made his first appearance on his second season at the Manchester club last weekend where he played in the left-back role against Arsenal in the Community Shield.

This then led to one pundit sharing his thoughts on the 28-year-old and this particular role he played last weekend.

Merson says Akanji doesn’t suit the left-back position

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Photo by Paul Harding – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

In a recent column for Sportskeeda written prior to City’s opening Premier League match against Burnley, Merson said this about Akanji and his role in the team.

He said: “I watched Man City play against Arsenal, and while I do like Akanji as a defender, I’m not a big fan of him playing as a left-back.” 

After arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Borussia Dortmund back in September in a deal worth £15m, the defender went on to make 48 appearances for City across all competitions, predominantly playing in the centre-back position but also featuring as a right-back and a left-back on occasion.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Looking back on the Community Shield match last weekend, Akanji completed the full 90 minutes and managed to make two clearances, two tackles and won all five duels he was involved in.

This shows how much of a capable defender he is and why Merson may be jumping the gun a bit by suggesting that the Switzerland international isn’t suited to playing in the left-back role.

However, with City having Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol in their squad that can feature in the left-back or left-centre-back role, this may allow Akanji to stick to his normal centre-back position.

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