Chelsea midfielder will get a chance under the tutelage of Graham Potter.
What’s the word?
The journalist is anticipating Zakaria to get a chance under Potter and believes the 25-year-old can bring something different to the side.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Phillips 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.”
Phillips is correct in his latter sentiment on Zakaria, he does indeed bring something “completely different.”
With an average of around 21.83 of Zakaria’s 53.65 touches per game actioned in his defensive third, it’s fair to say that the 25-year-old is much more defensive-minded than a host of the other Chelsea engine room options – including that of N’Golo Kante, who averages just 1.43 touches in his defensive penalty area, with Zakaria averaging 4.08 touches for this metric per game.
His touch total of 53.65 is low in itself and illustrates his playstyle well, with the Switzerland international happy to perform without the ball, shining in the transitional moments. His 2.19 interceptions per game prove as a solid total that sees him quickly nullify opponents’ counter attacks.
With Chelsea currently conceding an average of 1.5 goals per game in the Premier League, having conceded nine goals in their first six games, defensive solidity in the central areas is desperately needed in order to create balance.
£51k-per-week Zakaria may just be the ultimate initiator for Potter’s side, with the star happy to sit deeper in the possession phase, to allow his teammates to drive forward.