Manchester United are favourites to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria in the summer, ahead of a number of European clubs
Manchester United bolstered their midfield with the signing of Bruno Fernandes in January. But they are keen to find a defensive foil for the Portugal international. And the man they are looking at is 23-year-old Denis Zakaria.
Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred have all featured regularly in the two defensive midfield options behind Fernandes. And Zakaria, known for his defensive tenacity, could provide another option. He has been integral to Gladbach, who have made a flying start to the Bundesliga campaign. They still have hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
According to Sky Germany, via the Daily Star, United are firm favourites to snap up Zakaria, ahead of multiple other big clubs around Europe. When quizzed about Zakaria’s future recently, Gladbach’s Sporting Director Max Erbl said:
“I think that there is a very good chance that Denis will still be with us next year, if we qualify for the Champions League.”
Where can Zakaria fit at Manchester United?
Zakaria has been impressive for Gladbach this season. His performances have seen him feature in 23 out of 25 league games this campaign. As a result, he has an average rating of 7.15, given by WhoScored.
The Switzerland international provides the reliability that United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will be desperate for. Zakaria is the ideal option to fulfil a deeper role in midfield, perhaps alongside Fred or Pogba. At just 23, he is still young and has the potential to get even better.
The Gladbach midfielder has many attributes that the Red Devils boss likely admires, as he is very similar to Fred. Fred has managed 2.2 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per league game to Zakaria’s 2.1 and 1.6.
The latter averages two dribbles per game, compared to Fred’s 1.5. And considering the Brazilian has improved under Solskjaer, it is possible that the potential signing could follow the suit.
By Zakaria’s own admission, he the type of box-to-box midfielder, who can bring tremendous energy to United. The player suggested that he has been compared to Patrick Vieira in the past, admitting that he looked up to the former Arsenal man.
If he can get anywhere close to his standard then he would be a brillant addition, and likely help Man United progress on the pitch.