Michael Ball has offered his thoughts on Everton potentially signing Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.
Former Everton defender Michael Ball has urged the Toffees to get a deal over the line for Borussia Monchengladbach defensive midfielder Denis Zakaria this month, with the club reportedly eyeing up a potential swoop for the Switzerland international.
Marcel Brands and Rafa Benitez must work hard to secure an agreement to sign Zakaria this month as he could be a sublime addition to the squad. He could prove to be a major upgrade on existing midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, who joined from Watford last summer.
The Swiss international suffered an MCL injury towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign, ending his season short and disrupting the start of the following one. If we compare Doucoure and Zakaria based on the former’s statistics for Everton last term and Zakaria’s pre-injury in 2019/20, there is a clear winner.
As per Squawka, Zakaria made more forward passes at a higher success rate whilst losing the ball fewer times per 90 than the Blues man. He also won more tackles, more ground and aerial duels combined, whilst also making more interceptions, clearances and blocks.
Switching it up and looking at the Gladbach man’s form last season, the result is only slightly better for Doucoure. The Toffees enforcer equaled him on tackles made and interceptions but still fell short in all of the aforementioned categories. This shows that he could prove to be an upgrade on Doucoure defensively and in transition, with his defending and passing stats standing out in this comparison.
“He is a very complete footballer who still has a lot of development potential.
“He has incredible dynamics, understanding of the game and is not yet at the end of his development.”
The £55k-per-week powerhouse, therefore, has room to grow further and develop his game to the next level. Given that he is four years younger than Doucoure, he could be a major upgrade on the Frenchman as he has already shown that he can perform to a higher level than him in a top European league whilst having four more years of time to improve as a player.