the nice surprise Denis Zakaria


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An action from the match between Chelsea and Manchester City has been looping on social networks since Thursday evening. We play the 88th minute when in the middle of the field, Denis Zakaria, a big guy of 1m90, Chelsea jersey on his shoulders, displays all his technique against İlkay Gündoğan and Kevin De Bruyne. If the Blues lost at Stamford Bridge (0-1), the 26-year-old Swiss international has made friends with English football observers. Depressing 10th in the Premier League, Chelsea did not become the enticing Brighton under Graham Potter. So, small consolation, certainly, the return of Denis Zakaria, at the level which was his in Monchengladbach is a reason to rejoice for the supporters of the Blues.

Loaned for 3 million euros by Juventus, with a purchase option of around 28 million euros, the Swiss international (45 caps, 3 goals) took time to appear in the eyes of the world. It must be said that his presence in front of the defense, alongside Mateo Kovačić, is also and above all due to the injuries of a good part of the London workforce. N’Golo Kanté, Reece James, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, among others. Choice of Thomas Tuchel, dismissed shortly after the end of the transfer window, Denis Zakaria did not really have the confidence of the newcomer on the bench. But no choice, faced with this carnage. Last night, Zakaria played his 5th match with the Blues. The third in a row. And he didn’t disappoint Graham Potter.

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“The Octopus” reveals his technique to the eyes of the world

Nicknamed The Octopus (the octopus), Denis Zakaria knew how to deploy his tentacles. An inveterate feller, always with his mouth open, a sign of constant effort, he recovered 6 balls against the Citizens. If he has to drag his imposing physique like a burden, his feet work wonders. A technique that allowed him to create differences against the players of Pep Guardiola. To win in the midfield after only three matches (if we exclude two appearances at the beginning of November), it had to be done. Especially since we cannot say that the truce benefited the native of Geneva. The World Cup, Denis Zakaria played well in Qatar. But it was on the bench that Murat Yakın, the Swiss coach, preferred him.

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After making two short appearances in the last group match for the Swiss and in the round of 16 against Portugal at the World Cup, the defensive midfielder returned to London with a knife between his teeth. And from December 27, Graham Potter sent him to the coal. For his first in the Premier League, against Bournemouth (2-0 victory for Chelsea), Zakaria showed up. Clean in his interventions, he makes few or no mistakes. Clever with the ball, he is precise in his passes and dares things under pressure. His presence makes Jorginho better. And his desire to move forward, always, has delighted the hearts of supporters, who wonder why Graham Potter has heard so long to make him play.

Graham Potter might change his mind

If the performance interviewed during the following match, on the lawn of Nottingham Forest (1-1), was, on a team scale, much less convincing, Denis Zakaria, showed, last night, against a candidate in the title, that he had resources. His coach in any case appreciated what he saw. “I thought he was really good. Defensively, he covered a lot of ground, won the ball, gave his all in duels, was brave with the ball and found solutions. He was a positive element of the evening., said a downcast Potter. To convince the Blues to sign him definitively, the player who passed through Servette and the Young Boys would be well advised to release a new masterclass this Sunday against Manchester City, in the 32nd FA Cup finals.

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