Denis Zakaria arrived as a last-minute midfield reinforcement on Deadline Day this summer, and while his loan signing was a bit of a panic move from the Blues, the 25-year-old had been looking forward to working with Thomas Tuchel.
Speaking to local reporters while away on international duty with Switzerland, Zakaria confirmed that Tuchel himself was one of the main reasons he agreed to come to Chelsea — and considering that he made that decision in less than a few hours, it surely was a primary and significant consideration.
“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. I packed my things and waited for the contracts to be signed. Then I did the medical check in Turin and it was through, it was very close.”
“Thomas Tuchel was one of the reasons I went to Chelsea, he’s a great coach. But now we haven’t had much time with him...”
Zakaria didn’t get a chance to play a single minute under Tuchel, but as any good professional would, he’s now focused on making sure he gets as many minutes as he possibly can under the new head coach.
“...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. [...] I want to show the best face I have.”
Chelsea have a buy-option built into Zakaria’s loan contract. If he shows his best face, we just might see his face around for a long time.