Arsenal are set to face stern competition from Premier League rivals Everton and Leicester City for the signature of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria.
The Gunners have been linked with the 25-year-old, who is valued at £24.3million on Transfermarkt, in recent months. The Switzerland international sees his contract with Monchengladbach expire at the end of the season and the German club could look to sell him in January to protect his value somewhat.
This would likely see Zakaria allowed to leave for a reduced fee next month, with the midfielder said to be keen on ending his four-year stay at Borussia-Park.
Zakaria’s agents have reportedly been offering their client around Europe in an attempt to drive up interest in his services.
The defensive midfielder is very highly-rated in Germany after some tremendous performances for Monchengladbach in recent seasons – with Arsenal star Granit Xhaka, who plays with him at international level, clearly a huge fan of his ability.
Xhaka told BILD, via Planet Football, in 2019: “His development is outstanding. Having Denis in the national team next to me makes me feel better! But he has to stay tuned – now comes a very crucial phase for him.”
The fact that Xhaka says it is easier with Zakaria around is something Mikel Arteta could be persuaded by as he looks to get the best out of his midfielders.
Germany legend Lothar Matthaus is also a huge fan of Zakaria and once compared him to Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos.
Matthaus said: “I am glad that Gladbach have found another pearl. At his age, I was earning my first stripes for Borussia. He reminds me of Toni Kroos at that age.”
Kroos is one of the best passers in world football, and has been for numerous years now, but Zakaria also boasts talent when in possession of the ball.
According to WhoScored, his strengths are: Passing, dribbling and blocking the ball. However, tackling and concentration are deemed as weaknesses for Zakaria.
At the moment, Arteta has Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as options to play in the centre of midfield.
For Elneny and Maitland-Niles, though, it looks as if their futures could lie away from Arsenal. The former has just months remaining on his Gunners contract, while the latter continues to be strongly linked with an exit from the Emirates Stadium.
Source by Football London