Chelsea midfielder Denis Zakaria is determined to prove himself at Stamford Bridge in order to stay at the club beyond his season-long loan, but is still waiting for his debut more than a month after arriving from Juventus.
Zakaria, an unused substitute in three Champions League matches so far this season under different managers, is still yet to even make the bench for a Premier League fixture.
No fitness concerns have been reported, but the Switzerland international was again bizarrely missing from the matchday squad for Saturday’s clash with Wolves.
As a player long nicknamed ‘The Octopus’ for his ability to win the ball back in midfield, it is even more odd when he is the closest alternative at the club to the injured N‘Golo Kante.
Zakaria, who was wanted by Thomas Tuchel on transfer deadline day but found himself working under Graham Potter less than a week later, is keen to show that he deserves to be at Chelsea.
“I am waiting for my moment and I want to prove I can play in this team. I want to help this team to win and win trophies,” he said.
“If you don’t do good, you don’t have the chance to stay. Chelsea is a big club and if you’re not good enough, you can’t stay. I am here to prove that I deserve to be here, that I am a good player and I can help the team.”
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There is no obvious issue with Potter, who has simply preferred others at this stage, but the pair have discussed where Zakaria’s best position on the pitch might be.
“I spoke with the new coach, but it was the first meeting to see where my position was and to get to know each other,” the 25-year-old said.
“We spoke a little bit and said he likes the style of player I am. In training, he is pushing every player, which is good. At the moment, I need to train hard and be ready for when I have my chance.”
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