Monday, June 27, 2022

Barcelona Identify This Bundesliga Midfielder As A Target: What Will He Add To Koeman’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent tweet, renowned journalist Matteo Moretto revealed that Barcelona have identified Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder, Denis Zakaria, as a target. It is understood that the Catalans are eyeing a move to secure the signature of the Swiss midfield ace during the January transfer window.

Zakaria’s Solid Season In German Football So Far

Zakaria has made a promising start to this campaign after putting in a few impressive performances as Monchengladbach’s chief anchorman in midfield. The 24-year-old registered two goals and one assist in five matches for the German outfit last season in multiple competitions.

The Genf-born talent has proven himself to be a valuable contributor at Borussia-Park because he is averaging 1.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 0.8 clearances, 1.2 shots, 0.8 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga. He has even been tidy with his ball distribution after making 87% of his attempted passes in the German top tier (stats via whoscored)

Barcelona (Denis Zakaria)
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 02: Denis Zakaria of Gladbach celebrates scoring his tea’s first goal during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach at Volkswagen Arena on October 02, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Will Zakaria Add To Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona Side?

Zakaria can do a bit of everything at the centre of the park and is already proving his worth as a decent two-way player for Monchengladbach. He loves a tackle and can sense the danger quickly to make a few important interceptions in midfield.

The 38-time Swiss international can shoot the ball with power from long range and is also proficient at making some energetic runs with the ball towards the opponent’s penalty box. He is a neat passer of the ball as well and can chip in by scoring or creating the odd goal from time to time.

A player of Zakaria’s skillset will be an excellent acquisition for Barcelona as he will add a lot of bite and steel to Ronald Koeman’s midfield. Plus, he could serve as a good long-term successor to Sergio Busquets who is nearing the end of his career at the Nou Camp.

Thus, the Catalan giants should focus on sealing a move for the Swiss sensation as long as they are willing to give him time to settle into life in Spanish football. At 24, Zakaria will only get better in the coming seasons which makes him an ideal target for Barca to pursue this January.

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