1. He could be the ‘physical’ midfielder Koeman needs
For months already, we’ve heard about Ronald koeman reported board requests regarding the signing of a georginio wijnaldum-like midfielder.
Pep guardiola’s Barca succeeded a lot thanks to players like Yaya Toure and Seydou Keita; given Ilaix moriba’s departure, we no longer have a player of their profile at the club.
Just like Yaya, Denis Zakaria is about 1.90m tall while his physical ability is among his best attributes.
Zakaria’s defensive output over the last 365 days, per StatsBomb
1.7 tackles per 90 mins;
2 interceptions per 90 mins;
1.8 blocks per 90 mins;
1.87 clearances per 90 mins.
2. His versatility is a good sign
In the last few years, Zakaria has played as a central midfielder, a defensive midfielder and a centre-back.
As a fan who has watched almost every Gladbach game, I can say that he’s most suited to being a box-to-box midfielder while the DM is his second-best position.
Zakaria was too error-prone at centre-back and he only plays in that position if there’s an injury crisis in the defence.
Zakaria’s season heat map so far, per SofaScore
3. He’s a magnet for goal contributions
The 24-year-old has recorded 19 goal contributions (11 goals and 8 assists) in 133 appearances for the Foals so far, with 3 of them coming in 5 Bundesliga games this season.
The truth is that Zakaria enjoys making long-distance runs into the box and shoots quite well with his right foot. He’s exactly a player who could score 10 goals per season at a big club.
4. His wage demands could suit us well
Zakaria could be a more reasonably-priced option than Wijnaldum given that he’s just 24 (Gini is 30) and his wage demands wouldn’t be as high as the Dutchman’s.
At Gladbach, Zakaria makes about €65,000 per week – Wijnaldum’s Liverpool salary was almost 2 times lower.
5. Gladbach may be willing to sell him for cheap
The latest reports claim that Zakaria has rejected the club’s latest contract offer while there are less than 9 months left on his current deal.
In the summer, Gladbach reportedly considered offers worth €20m and his price could go down again.
Even if we don’t land him for free, we won’t need to spend much on this signing – and we have some money left in our transfer budget.