Frank Lampard Labels City Star A “Fantastic Player” Despite Penalty Shootout Heartache

Former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard expressed sympathy for Manuel Akanji after he missed the crucial spot-kick in Switzerland’s defeat to England on penalties.

The defender had been one of his country’s most consistent performers at Euro 2024, and Lampard was keen to recognise how well he had played following the quarter-final defeat:

“Akanji has had a great tournament. Just to give him a shout-out as well. He is a fantastic player. But there has to be a person (to miss).”

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Akanji, who had kept England captain Harry Kane very quiet over the course of 90 minutes and in extra time.

The best £15m that City have ever spent

It’s fair to say that not many supporters were particularly enthused when Akanji first arrived from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022.

After all, the Swiss international had been allowed to run down his contract into its final twelve months. It meant that the Cityzens were able to snap him up for a relatively small transfer fee.

Almost immediately, though, it was clear that Akanji would fit in seamlessly at the Etihad. He possessed strength and pace, but his key attribute was his intelligence.

Guardiola is a massive fan

Akanji’s ability to pick up new ideas was being praised just a month after his arrival at the club. When he was picked to start out of position at fullback against Southampton, Guardiola paid tribute to his new signing, saying:

“You only have to tell [Akanji] once [and] he knows it. The movement defensively and offensively, he executes it perfectly. This is a gift for the manager. Some players, you have to explain ten times or train ten times to show what you are thinking or what you want to do. This guy needed just one training session and he got it. ”

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David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.