According to Manchester Evening News, Denis Zakaria is attracting interest from Premier League leaders Manchester City. Zakaria, 24, could replace 35-year-old Fernandinho as the Brazillian midfielder is likely to leave this summer. Born and raised in Geneva and developed at his local club, Servette, Zakaria looks ready to progress even further.
Manchester City Monitoring Zakaria
Borussia Monchengladbach Could Cash in
Fernandinho’s contract is running down and the Brazillian is likely to leave the Etihad for free this summer. As an integral part of the City squad, Fernandinho will leave some large boots to fill. Barring a contract extension, Manchester City will bid farewell to another of the golden generation.
Enter Denis Zakaria, a young, 6’2 midfielder that likens his style to that of Patrick Viera and Paul Pogba. The midfielder told the Bundesliga website: “I’ve been compared to Patrick Vieira and Paul Pogba – two more players I really respect and, in a way, see as role models. When I watch videos of them I think I’d like to play that way”.
Yann Sommer, Monchengladbach’s goalkeeper, likens his teammate to some of the past greats: “It’s not easy to compare him to the greats of the past, but he combines many qualities that were really defined by Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.”
Clearly, Zakaria’s positive form will only increase interest in his signature. Manchester City will undoubtedly face competition, especially as the MailOnline report Manchester United are also showing interest.
Where Denis Zakaria Could Fit in at Manchester City
Denis Zakaria is predominantly a right-footed defensive midfielder, although he can cover at centre back. Zakaria is very much an all-round midfielder, which means he can also push further up the field. He is noticeably strong, with a good engine, and has an eye for tackling.
These qualities make him an almost like-for-like replacement for Fernandinho. Looking at Zakaria’s stats, they show his defensive prowess. Last season, according to WhoScored, Zakaria had an 86.7% pass success rate in the Bundesliga. Additionally, he averaged 0.9 aerial duels won, displaying his defensive knack alongside 2.0 successful dribbles.
Furthermore, he has vast experience for his age, even as an international. Playing at every level for Switzerland, Zakaria is now a regular starter for the main team- making 28 appearances and scoring three goals for the Swiss international team. And he is equally impressive at club level, making over 150 club appearances since becoming a professional. Persistent knee problems seem to be an issue, however, with Zakaria missing around 250 days in the 2019/2020 season with an injury.
Signing for Manchester City is tempting enough with their star-studded lineup, but the pull is even stronger now. Borussia Mönchengladbach are struggling in tenth place in the Bundesliga and have one win in their last five games. Therefore, Gladbach may prefer to cash in on Zakaria now rather than risk him running down his contract.
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