Thursday, January 27, 2022

Liverpool Eyeing A Move For This Bundesliga Midfielder: Why They Must Rope Him In Winter

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from Gazzetta Dello Sport is believed to be true, Liverpool are eyeing a move for Borussia Mönchengladbach star Denis Zakaria ahead of next month’s winter transfer window. The Swiss midfield ace will be a free agent by the closure of the ongoing campaign, but the Reds might secure his services for £7M-£8.5M if they decide to tie him down in January.

The 25-year-old Switzerland international had his spells with Servette and Young Boys back in the homeland before moving to Gladbach for a fee of around €10m. Young Boys made a hefty profit from his egress around four and a half years back, whereas the Colts handed him a regular role straightaway in the middle of the park. So far he has appeared 140 times for the Bundesliga side across competitions [stats via Transfermarket] and has mostly operated from deep down the midfield as a ‘number 6’ or double pivot.

Liverpool target Denis Zakaria in action for Switzerland
ROME, ITALY – NOVEMBER 12: Manuel Locatelli of Italy compete for the ball with Denis Zakaria of Switzerland during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Italy and Switzerland at Stadio Olimpico on November 12, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Why Liverpool Must Secure His Services In Winter

Liverpool, meanwhile, are well equipped in the middle of the park even though they did not rope in a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. Although the likes of skipper Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and teenage sensation Harvey Elliott offer ample depth as well as quality in a three-man midfield, the persistent injury problems exposed the Reds in recent games, particularly in the centre of the pitch.

Elliott was enjoying his minutes before suffering a horrific ankle dislocation that has ruled him out for months. The time is running out for Keita who is still struggling to prove his fitness and the absence of an array of key personnel forced Jurgen Klopp to promote academy prodigy Tyler Morton in Cup contests. Thiago, too, has been injury-prone and the exit of Wijnaldum has indeed left a void, given his availability week in week out.

A rough run in January has derailed Liverpool’s campaign on a number of occasions. They must avoid the same this time around, and therefore, bolster the current set-up with sporting director Michael Edwards set to leave his role at the end of the season. The Reds had a relatively quiet window compared to their fellow league rivals and the opportunity of roping in Zakaria should be explored amid growing interest from the other suitors. The player, too, is keen on experiencing a new challenge elsewhere and it is to be seen now whether the English giants step up the chase in the forthcoming future.

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