Denis Zakaria has admitted that he was very close to signing for Liverpool on transfer deadline day earlier this month.
The Switzerland international instead headed to Stamford Bridge to join Chelsea on loan from Serie A outfit Juventus but the 25-year-old has revealed he spoke to his agent about a potential move to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“I heard that from my agent, but in the end it was Chelsea. And I think I’ll be happier in England than in Turin,” the former Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder said (as quoted by Blick).
The midfielder only joined Juventus in January of this year but he’s admitted that he struggled to adapt to the style of play in Italy compared to what he had become accustomed to in the Bundesliga.
“Difficult to say. Maybe the style of football wasn’t mine,” he added when asked about his time in Italy. “The team was a lot behind, didn’t have that much space. I’m a player who needs a lot of space for my runs. It might suit me better in England.”
He also revealed how his loan move to the Premier League came as a real surprise to him but defined himself as a ‘positive’ person who is ‘living his dream’.
“I’m happy to be a footballer and I’m living my dream. That’s why I’m always positive,” Zakaria continued.
“It all happened very quickly. I didn’t know a move to Chelsea was possible until six hours before the end of the transfer window.”
Known for his powerful presence in midfield, it’s no surprise that Liverpool were interested in securing his services.
It was no secret that the Reds were in the market for a new central midfielder and despite Klopp’s side reportedly being interested in signing Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund next summer, the Anfield outfit signed one of Zakaria’s former Juventus teammates on deadline day instead.
Arthur Melo left the Turin-based outfit for Merseyside on a season-long loan deal and he’s eager to get his career back on track in the Premier League.
VOTE for Empire of the Kop as Best Club Content Creator (Premier League) here: Football Content Awards
OR on Twitter with the FCA’s one-click Twitter link with: I am voting for @Empireofthekop in @The_FCAs for #BestClubContentCreator (Premier League)
When Zakaria headed to Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel was still in charge.
But shortly after he arrived in London, the German had been sacked and replaced by Brighton boss Graham Potter.
The Swiss star admitted that the German tactician was one of the reasons why he opted to head to the capital but insisted he’s eager to work hard under his new boss.
“Thomas Tuchel was one of the reasons I went to Chelsea, he’s a great coach,” he said. “But now we haven’t had much time with him, but that’s football. Everything goes fast. I might have a new chance with the new coach, about whom I’ve heard a lot of good things. I will work a lot to get my place.”
Zakaria is yet to earn his first minutes as a Chelsea player having been named as a substitute in the Blues’ last two fixtures.
It will be interesting to see how he adapts to life in England and always intriguing to hear about players that came very close to signing for the Reds.