Denis Zakaria is reportedly available for just €6 million as his contract expires this summer.
Liverpool, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are rumoured to be interested. Whilst he’s a good player, this would show a lack of ambition from Liverpool as there’s bigger and better options out there.
Denis Zakaria is a Swiss defensive midfielder for Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach who has been capped 38 times for his country, scoring three times.
Standing at six foot three, Zakaria is an intelligent holding midfielder who has gained comparisons to Declan Rice for his elite intercepting ability and his extremely accurate passing.
With Fabinho being the only recognised holding midfielder at Liverpool and the midfield causing them problems this season, fresh faces are needed at Anfield, and Denis Zakaria would be a great one to add,
Fabinho’s understudy should be a player of similar qualities to him; he ranks in the 93rd percentile of midfielders for interceptions and clearances, 2.41 and 2.59 per 90 respectively.
Crucially, Fabinho averages 2.83 tackles per 90, which is in the 81st percentile for midfielders.
Whilst Denis Zakaria matches Fabinho’s 2.41 interceptions per 90, he isn’t remotely close to his tackling. Zakaria only averages 1.71 tackles per 90, which is in the 23rd percentile of midfielders. This would be a significant problem for Liverpool as Fabinho’s role is to break up play and be a ‘destructor’ in the midfield. Fabinho’s tackling is almost second-to-none.
There is no denying that Denis Zakaria is an excellent player, and €6 million for a player of his quality is an absolute bargain. However, Liverpool could show a lot more ambition than this and n find a more suitable player.
This is not to say that Denis Zakaria wouldn’t be a good signing for Liverpool – he’d be a superb signing. Liverpool could just be more ambitious and aim for a player because of their qualities, and not because they’d be cheap.
Liverpool shopped at Monaco for their current holding midfielder, and it’s time they return to the Monégasques for Aurélien Tchouaméni. Whilst this deal could potentially be ten times the fee for Zakaria, it secures an all-rounded, destructive and inventive midfielder for the next 12 years of his career.
Tchouaméni averages 3.97 tackles and 2.88 interceptions per 90, which is momentously greater than Fabinho’s, albeit in a weaker league. Tchouaméni can play further up the midfield, which just increases Liverpool’s midfield options.
The signing of Tchouaméni would add youth to an ageing midfield and provide serious competition and depth to Klopp’s midfield weapons.
Liverpool would be better off showing ambition and aiming for someone like Tchouaméni than aiming for a cheap option like Zakaria.
Both exceptional players but you wouldn’t see Manchester City or Chelsea aim cheaply: it’s crucial that Liverpool follow suite.