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In-depth analysis on Juventus new signing Denis Zakaria

Max Statman

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With Juventus set to sign 25-year-old Swiss midfielder, Denis Zakaria for €8m combined, let’s dive into what the talented midfielder will bring to Turin.

Zakaria primarily operates as a defensive midfielder, he largely emphasizes his game upon the defensive aspect of his position, either winning or receiving the ball in a deep position of the field and quickly progressing it further to more attacking-minded players. The heat-map below shows Zakaria’s average position on the field, like I previously said, he generally gets the ball deep in the field and doesn’t often find himself in advanced positions, rather staying back to always cover the defense.

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Within this current season, Zakaria is averaging 1.5 tackles per game, 1.2 intercepts and 1.1 clearances. Relatively decent figures for a defensive midfielder playing in the Bundesliga. On the ball, he has averaged 46.4 passes per game with a pass completion rate of 89.2%. However, a majority of these are short passes to surrounding players as he only attempts 1.4 long passes per game. Still, not bad figures for a player of his profile, he isn’t a regista. On the offensive end, not much should be expected, Zakaria has scored 2 goals this season and provided 1 assist in 20 games. He is simply not a player who goes forward much.

 The primary concern surrounding Zakaria is the visible drop in performance since sustaining a knee injury which kept him out for over 250 days in early 2020. Both visual analysis and data backs this up. However, despite his knee injury being so devastating for a player who relies on his athleticism and running so much, for the fee Juventus are paying it is hardly a risk to take a gamble on him finding close to his best form again with a change in scenery.

Regarding how he will fit into the side tactically, Zakaria will likely be used as a defensive midfielder in games where Allegri expects Juventus to lose the possession battle and he requires additional defensive reinforcement.  The signing of Zakaria may also enable Juventus to finally unleash a weapon which has so far been kept rather quiet, Manuel Locatelli. With Zakaria covering the defense this will allow Locatelli to advance further and use his superb playmaking ability more.

Overall, the transfer of Denis Zakaria is a great one for Juventus, with a rather low transfer fee and a player who at his best offers great ability there is hardly any risk to this transfer which adds a totally unique set of qualities to what the squad currently has.

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I am seasoned senior correspondent at Forza Juventus, where I specialize in providing in-depth coverage of transfer news, insightful analysis, and everything related to the world of Juventus.

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