MANCHESTER CITY’S capture of Erling Haaland was the story of the summer at The Etihad, but the champions also pulled off a “ridiculous” bit of business in landing Manuel Akanji.

That’s according to former City defender Joleon Lescott, who has been blown away by the impact the Swiss international has had on Pep Guardiola’s side.

Manuel Akanji joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund last summer

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Manuel Akanji joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund last summerCredit: GETTY
The Switzerland ace has been a rock at the back for Pep Guardiola's troops

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The Switzerland ace has been a rock at the back for Pep Guardiola’s troopsCredit: GETTY
Akanjai has blown away former City defender Joleon Lescott

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Akanjai has blown away former City defender Joleon LescottCredit: BT SPORT

The defender, signed from Borussia Dortmund for a bargain £15million on deadline day in September, has started all but two of City’s Prem games since he arrived.

Ahead of the Manchester derby on Saturday, Lescott said: “It was a ridiculous bit of business.

“The business Manchester City have done over recent years hasn’t surprised me but in terms of him there will be so many teams looking at him and thinking: ‘Why didn’t we see that and do that and take that opportunity?'”

After sitting out the first Premier League game just days after his arrival, Akanji has taken to English football superbly and cemented his place in Guardiola’s side in a quiet, assured fashion.

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It is that ease of transition which has most impressed Lescott, who compared the former Basel man to Chelsea’s veteran master, Thiago Silva.

He added: “It has been a seamless impact. As a defender that is where I rate the level.

“It is similar to Thiago Silva, when it came it was like he’d been there forever.

“He isn’t being noticed for any particular thing. As a defender, I always thought that if no one is mentioning your name you’re doing okay because you haven’t made a mistake.

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“You aren’t going to consistently score goals as a defender so if you’re being mentioned it’s either for a goal or a mistake.

“I always thought that if no one is mentioning me you’re doing okay.

“That’s the case with Akanji, he has come in and is playing numerous positions and looks so comfortable.

“It is just the level he is at.

“Maintaining the level he is playing at is progress, he is playing to his maximum every week.”

Akanji was sent on as a half-time substitute to try and save City during their shock Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Southampton on Wednesday night.

While he couldn’t inspire a comeback at St. Mary’s, City didn’t concede again once he was on the pitch and he will be key as they look to bounce back against bitter rivals Manchester United tomorrow.

At the other end of the pitch, Haaland, who bagged his third Prem hat-trick of the season in the return fixture, will also prove vital.

Though after the mauling at The Etihad, Lescott suspects United will go about trying to stop the powerhouse in a different manner.

Lescott said: “Martinez and Varane tried to get physical with him and Haaland just manhandled them, he enjoys that.

“There has to be a different approach because the outcome wasn’t positive for them.

“Your thought process would be to nullify the supply because if enough chances fall to him he’s going to execute, and that’s why he’s regarded as world-class.

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“If he gets two or three chances he’s going to score. So it will be a case of nullifying those chances.”

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