Saturday, January 29, 2022

Manchester United Among Clubs Interested In Bundesliga Star: Good Option For Rangnick?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

In a recent tweet, sports journalist Jonathan Shrager has revealed that Manchester United are amongst several clubs keen on signing Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria in the ongoing transfer window, as Ralf Rangnick looks set to add to his options at the centre of the park.

Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have also recently enquired about the possibility of signing the Swiss ace who has no intention of penning down a contract renewal at Monchengladbach whatsoever. With just six months left on his current deal, a January move seems to be on the cards if the Bundesliga outfit intends on making money out of his departure.

‘I am told that Manchester United, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have all recently enquired about the possibility of signing Denis Zakaria in January’ – Shrager’s tweet read.

Zakaria’s Season At Borussia Park

Having come through the ranks at Swiss club Servette, Zakaria joined BSC Young Boys in the summer of 2015. A couple of seasons later, Borussia Monchengladbach signed the then 21-year-old midfielder for a fee in the region of €11 million. Over the last five years, the Swiss international has made 144 appearances for the club (average 29 appearances per season), bagging 11 goals and eight assists across all competitions.

Manchester United Target Denis Zakaria
André Silva of Leipzig is challenged by Denis Zakaria of Gladbach during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach at Red Bull Arena on December 11, 2021 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/Getty Images)
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Going by his recent stats, the Geneva-born star has managed to put up some impressive numbers on the board this season – averaging 1.5 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, 1.9 dribbles, 0.5 key passes, and 1.7 long balls per 90 minutes in the German top-flight (across 15 appearances). Furthermore, with 50.5 passes played per game with a success rate of 90.1%, he has been one of the best passers on his side this term. As evident from the stats, Zakaria has been an integral part of Monchengladbach’s entire set-up, be it offensive or defensive gameplay.

However, it’s his awful injury record that has the potential to spoil the party. In the 2019/20 season, an unfortunate knee injury put the Gladbach star out of action for 246 days, following which he again had knee-related problems nearly midway into the 2020/21 season.

Good Option For Ralf Rangnick?

Paul Pogba’s future at the club is highly uncertain at the moment as he hasn’t signed the contract extension yet. On the other hand, Nemanja Matic turns 34 in August. Besides, Fred and Scott McTominay aren’t exactly the best midfield duo in Europe either. The position has been screaming out for quality recruitments for a long time now.

In all honesty, Manchester United need Denis Zakaria more than he needs them. At 25, the number 8 is an excellent long-term option for the club as his best years lie ahead of him. Available at a bargain value, the United board should make its best attempt to bring him to Old Trafford.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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