Graham Potter received a new midfield headache as a result of Chelsea’s honest evaluation of Denis Zakaria.
Former coach Christoph Spycher believes that Denis Zakaria will change his circumstances at Chelsea. A season-long loan transfer from Juventus brought the 25-year-old to the Blues on the final day of the transfer window.
With the west Londoners lacking in midfield, previous manager Thomas Tuchel reportedly brought him in to cover for N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Given the former’s history of injuries, Zakaria appeared poised to contribute in some way to Chelsea’s season as of this point.
But the Switzerland international has yet to play for even a single minute due to a number of uncontrollable circumstances, including Loftus-Cheek impressing and the change in management. Zakaria’s mentor, Spycher, who was the sporting director at BSC Young Boys as he rose through the ranks, thinks he still has a chance to make an impression.
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Denis is certainly unlucky, the 44-year-old commented, as reported by 4-4-2.CH. He had a fantastic development while playing for Gladbach and, up to his injury, was one of the most dominant midfielders. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for him.
"Denis can assert himself, but he needs confidence and top form. He had a fantastic development in Gladbach, was one of the most dominant midfielders until his injury. This came at the worst possible time for him.
Despite having to make the difficult choice to leave Juventus, Zakaria appears eager to put in the work and earn Chelsea’s respect.
Of course," the Swiss said in a statement to The Athletic. If you don’t do good, you don’t have the chance to stay. Chelsea is a big club and if you’re not good enough, you can’t stay at this club.
"I am here to prove I deserve to be here, that I am a good player and I can help the team. We will see what happens at the end."
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Then, Zakaria reflected on his time spent at Juventus and expressed the hope that he might apply what he had learned in Turin to west London.
I wish Juventus only the best," he remarked. "I hope only the best for Juventus. I hope they can win the title in Italy and I would be very happy for that. Juventus is a big, big club, like Chelsea.
"I learnt a lot there, with big, big players. And I can only be grateful for that because they gave me a lot of chances and everything. I am a fan of Juventus and I follow Juventus, of course. But now I am a Chelsea player, so I’m focused here and I want to give my best to help the team. For me, I’m a new player, but I feel like I’ve been here one or two years already.
"It was not an easy solution [to join Chelsea] but in the end, I am a player, I need also this challenge to be better. For me, I am better when I take challenges. To change everything, like language, is not easy, but I think I can do it." Advertisement