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Liverpool hero says Man City have a 'Rolls-Royce' player on their hands

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: The Manchester City team line up for the team picture prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match between Manchester City and Real Madrid CF at Etihad Stadium on April 17, 2024 in Manchester, England.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)


Liverpool sent 10 players to Euro 2024 this summer, three fewer than Inter Milan and Manchester City, the clubs most heavily represented in Germany. With only three matches remaining, there are still six Reds at the tournament.

The second semi final will ensure two or three members of the Liverpool squad will see their interest in the latest European Championship finish on Wednesday. Netherlands will likely start Cody Gakpo and Virgil van Dijk with Ryan Gravenberch on the bench for its clash with England.

The tournament to date suggests Gareth Southgate is unlikely to start Trent Alexander-Arnold or Joe Gomez in the match. The Three Lions’ boss will be thankful his side is there at all after delivering yet another poor performance in the quarter-final against Switzerland. Former Liverpool midfielder and treble cup winner Danny Murphy highlighted the high quality of one Swiss defender who has already won six trophies in his first two seasons with City.

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The pundit was weighing up the Switzerland side ahead of its match with England, for whom he won nine caps. “The lads at the back are very comfortable on the ball – [Manuel] Akanji, [Fabian] Schar and [Ricardo] Rodriguez,” Murphy said on the talkSPORT YouTube channel (via Manchester City News). “I mean, Akanji is an absolute machine, a Rolls-Royce,” he added.

His comments used one of those strange phrases which seem only to exist in football. Why are players compared to cars? It doesn’t make much sense when you stop to think about it. The popular X (formerly Twitter) account @bryansgunn has poked fun at the use of Rolls-Royce in this context in the past, with former Liverpool men Joe Cole, Mark Lawrenson, James Milner and Graeme Souness among the contributors he used in the video.

Luxury car or not, Akanji was unable to help Switzerland overcome England. Indeed, it was his penalty which was saved by Jordan Pickford and ultimately determined the outcome, with Alexander-Arnold later converting the decisive spot kick. “I let my team down and let my country down,” the City man said afterwards (via Ryan Taylor).

Irrespective of what happened from 12 yards in Dusseldorf on Saturday, Akanji is a fine player. Murphy was right to talk up the 28-year-old, even if he used a dreaded football cliché to do it.

Liverpool.com says: Considering City signed Akanji for just $19.2m (£15m/€17.7m), it’s a pity Liverpool did not try to hijack the deal in the summer of 2022. He looks set to be an asset for the Reds’ Premier League title rivals for several years to come.