Liverpool have identified Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria as their desired replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum.
A report from Daily Express has shed some light on Liverpool’s current midfield problems. The club is braced to lose Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer, with the Dutchman’s contract set to expire at the end of the season. In addition, they remain uncertain regarding the overall quality and fitness of other options including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.
As such, Liverpool now feel they are in need of midfield reinforcements in the summer and have targeted Denis Zakaria. The Borussia Monchengladbach star, who is regarded as one of the most promising midfielders in the Bundesliga, has already attracted a lot of attention across Europe, with a move away from Borussia Park likely on the horizon.
Zakaria was one of the protagonists of a Gladbach side that impressed the onlookers under the leadership of Marco Rose last season. His ability to sense danger and create important turnovers in the middle of the park did indeed raise a lot of eyebrows, but his progress was halted by a serious injury in March.
When the Swiss international eventually returned to full fitness in November, very few expected him to re-establish himself as a key player for Gladbach due to the excellent midfield combination between Florian Neuhaus and Christoph Kramer.
Zakaria, however, has wronged those critics. In fact, his contributions in the second line of press have helped the Foals emerge as one of the most in-form sides in the Bundesliga since the turn of the year. Liverpool, as a result, are now keen on securing the services of the 24-year-old, whose contract in Gladbach expires in 2022.
At Anfield, Zakaria could be an interesting addition due to his style of play that goes hand in hand with Jurgen Klopp’s tactical philosophy. He is an excellent ball-winner in the middle of the park and is capable of rotating possession with crisp passes. In addition, the former Young Boys starlet is quite versatile as well, as he can operate in the wider midfield positions.
It should serve Liverpool quite well as they have been enforced utilise Fabinho and even Jordan Henderson as a central defender due to the injury crisis in the defensive unit. Although the latter is unlikely to be deployed in a defensive role once Virgil van Dijk returns to full fitness, it won’t be surprising to see Fabinho retaining the role due to his impressive performances – highlighted in our Liverpool mid-season review.
Zakaria, in that regard, could offer competition for the likes of Thiago, Henderson and Keita, but perhaps most importantly, serve as an ideal replacement for Wijnaldum, who has been linked with a move to FC Barcelona in the summer.