According to Sky Sports Germany, as cited by Mirror, Liverpool have been in touch with Denis Zakaria regarding a potential switch to Anfield in January. The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has caught the eye with his impressive performances in the Bundesliga. But, the Reds are joined by Arsenal in the pursuit of Zakaria while Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are also interested.
We can imagine, Zakaria has been targeted as a potential cover for Fabinho, especially with James Milner’s contract expiring at the end of the season. In this article, therefore, we will compare the two midfielders and figure out whether or not the Gladbach star is a perfect alternative for the Brazilian.
Style of play
Fabinho and Zakaria are quite similar players when it comes to dictating the tempo of the game with their efficient passes. They can distribute possession quite well and can provide assurance during the possession-phases. However, Fabinho is a more defensive-minded individual as compared to Zakaria. The Swiss’ ability to read the game is also well contested by the Brazilian.
That being said, Zakaria is more effective when it comes to nestling through tight spaces and act as a ball-carrier. Fabinho, in contrast, likes to sit in as the holding midfielder and let others play more efficiently in the half-spaces.
Statistics suggest that Zakaria is more efficient when it comes to making challenges. The Gladbach star has won 2.6 tackles per game this season with an excellent success rate of 78%. Fabinho has also mustered a similar tally, but his 64% success rate is way inferior to his Swiss counterpart.
He has, however, attained a pass completion rate of 86% compared to Zakaria’s 83%, though that has got a lot to do with Liverpool keeping more possession of the ball this season.
Furthermore, the fact that Zakaria is an excellent dribbler is backed up by the fact that he has completed 2.2 successful dribbles per game with an astonishing success rate of 81%. Fabinho, in contrast, has attempted only 0.8. And lastly, both the midfielder have ranked close in terms of interceptions.
The statistics are enough to suggest how effective Zakaria actually is, in the centre of the pitch. He can, therefore, be an ideal alternative for Fabinho and an even better replacement for Naby Keita, who has struggled to announce himself in the Premier League after arriving from RB Leipzig.
Zakaria’s style of play suits well with Jurgen Klopp’s Gegenpressing style of play, and at the age of just 22, he can be a smart long-term investment for the Reds.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
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