Here’s a name that many would not have expected to see on a list such as this at the beginning of the season. The signing of Manuel Akanji initially raised eyebrows – and not in a good way.
Nevertheless, Akanji has put fears to rest – he hasn’t been one of City’s first-choice centre-backs, but when called upon, he has excelled.
While his defending has been consummate, his ball-playing ability is where he really shines. His range of passing is something to behold – he can turn defence into attack at the drop of hat with his diagonal long balls.