The appearance of Zakaria at Chelsea in the final session of the summer transfer window 2022 sᴜrprised many people. Because, he is only a 1-year loan deal from Juventus – a last-minute backup option for the Blues after “missing” Edson Alvarez from Ajax.
The 26-year-old Swiss midfielder himself did not expect much from this experience. Because his situation is somewhat similar to his teammate Saul Niguez who arrived at Chelsea a year earlier, also on loan from Atletico.
Many dout Zakaria will become the ‘next Saul Niguez’
Niguez was given the opportunity to play earlier under coach Thomas Tuchel. But in the end, the Spaniard did not take advantage of those rare times to play and ultimately could not get a foothold at the Blues. Zakaria was probably worried about a similar outcome for her while on the bench for more than 8 long weeks. However, the Swiss midfielder did not let adversity knock him down. He is still working hard, optimistically waiting for his opportunity.
One Chelsea team-mate described that, if there’s one person who is the most optimistic at Chelsea’s Cobham training center, it’s Zakaria. And then the opportunity finally came, in the match against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stage in November. Zakaria took it, scored the decisive goal to help the Blues win, and opened the opportunity to kick again. the second match for Chelsea (lost to Man City in the League Cup a week later).
Midfielder Denis Zakaria’s great performance against Bournemouth made a strong impression on his Chelsea teammates
The reason why Zakaria rarely has the opportunity to play is because he has to compete with a series of names such as Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kanté, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The number of matches he played for Switzerland in 4 days at the 2022 World Cup is equal to 4 months he played for Chelsea.
In the context that the west London team suffered a storm of injury in midfield, especially the long absence of Kante and Jorginho was willing to reduce his salary by half to return to Napoli – the team that made a name. of the ‘Italian star’, Zakaria is not a bad choice for the new coach Graham Potter. And in the match against Bournemouth, he played a very important role for the home team’s victory.
Zakaria will be a worthy replacement for Kante vs Jorginho
This is Chelsea’s first victory after four consecutive defeats in all competitions. He acts as a shuttle in the center of midfield alongside Mount and Jorginho. Mount’s miraculous goal to make it 2-0 was the product of a clever run by Zakaria that opened a great space for the Englishman to finish. Zakaria’s strong, determined long legs and sober head help Chelsea have a very solid defense from afar. He always promptly supported two teammates Reece James and Kalidou Koulibaly in every time Bournemouth players hit the ball.
It was the timely and safe interventions of the Swiss midfielder that became a very important highlight in Chelsea’s second line defense system. “He is very fast. Suddenly, Denis appeared right in front of us to assist us. He’s really great,” Reece James praised his new teammate after the game. Obviously, with a great performance against Bournemouth, Zakaria can completely occupy the starting position at Chelsea for the rest of the season.