Potter ready to start unseen £30m star at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea midfielder Denis Zakaria will get a chance under Graham Potter this season, says journalist Simon Phillips.

The 25-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge on loan from Juventus on deadline day but is yet to play a single minute for the west London club.

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What is the latest news involving Zakaria?

Zakaria recently revealed that Liverpool were also interested in signing him during the summer transfer window.

“I heard that [Liverpool’s interest] from my agent, but in the end it was Chelsea,” he told Blick. “It all happened very quickly. I didn’t know a move to Chelsea was possible until six hours before the end of the transfer window.

“I think I’ll be happier in England than in Turin. Difficult to say [what went wrong at Juventus]. Maybe the style of football wasn’t mine. The team was a lot behind, didn’t have that much space. I’m a player who needs a lot of space for my runs. It might suit me better in England.”

Since Zakaria’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have had games against West Ham in the Premier League and Dinamo Zagreb and Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League. However, he was not able to feature in that London derby due to his work permit not being sorted and was overlooked for those two European ties.

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What has Phillips said about Zakaria?

Phillips is still expecting Zakaria to get a chance under Graham Potter, who replaced Thomas Tuchel as manager earlier this month, and thinks he can bring something different to the team.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “Zakaria, he’s going to get his chance. They’re just waiting for him to have his full match fitness because when he came into Chelsea, he didn’t quite have that, so he’s not played yet.

“He’s going to get a look-in; he brings something completely different to the rest of them, so it’ll be interesting to see how he uses him and if he uses him.”

What can Zakaria offer to this Chelsea side?

Probably a bit more steel in midfield. This season, the Blues have not looked very solid in that area of the pitch with the likes of Jorginho and Conor Gallagher playing there. In eight games so far, they have kept a clean sheet on just one occasion.

Zakaria, who has ranked in the 81st percentile for interceptions and the 92nd for blocks among midfielders over the last year (via FBref), may be able to help them there.

And if so, the Switzerland international, described as a “very complete footballer” by former manager Marco Rose, could end up remaining in west London, with his loan deal containing a £30m buy option.

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