Chelsea loan signing Denis Zakaria has not had a look-in at Stamford Bridge so far, and it does not seem as though anything will change in that regard, with the 42-cap Switzerland international’s days at the club seemingly numbered.
That is according to Paul Brown, who reckons that the 25-year-old’s time at Stamford Bridge could be over before it has even had chance to get started.
What’s the word?
The journalist believes there is a strong possibility that the Swiss midfielder will return to his parent club Juventus as soon as the transfer window reopens in January, with a number of options ahead of him in the pecking order at Chelsea.
“Chelsea have quite a lot of players ahead of him in the pecking order at the moment and a lot of different ways they can play. They even tried Mason Mount a bit deeper at one point this season.”
A horror spell
Brought to Chelsea by former Blues boss Thomas Tuchel late in the summer transfer window, Zakaria would have been expecting fairly regular minutes at Stamford Bridge, but the opposite has instead been the case.
Tuchel’s sacking occurred just days after the 25-year-old’s arrival in SW6, and whilst one might have expected Graham Potter to nurture a player of Zakaria’s defensive quality, it has not turned out to be the case.
Remarkably, his appearance on the substitutes’ bench (where he remained) at Aston Villa on Sunday is the closest he’s come to playing in the Premier League, having also been an unused substitute in each of Chelsea’s Champions League games this autumn (Transfermarkt).
Neither Tuchel (just before he was sacked) nor Potter subsequently has seen fit to give the 25-year-old his Blues debut so far, and with minutes at Chelsea almost impossible to come by, a Juventus recall could well be the midfielder’s best option right now.
The only problem is that it is not a guaranteed option. Chelsea may be forced to keep Zakaria until the end of the season, as it is understood that the Serie A club do not have an obligation to take the midfielder back ahead of schedule.
Whilst Zakaria took a risk in coming to west London for more regular minutes, it’s a move which could go down as one of the biggest loan-deal blunders in Chelsea’s history, and it makes for a rather tough situation for the former Borussia Monchengladbach star ahead of the World Cup.