Another name has popped up on Manchester United’s ever growing list of transfer targets.
German newspaper BILD report United are tracking the developments of the Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder.
Here is a look at five facts about the potential United signing…
- Zakaria is a Swiss international and is expected to star at Euro 2020. He this week helped them to a 2-0 win over Ireland. He has 24 caps for his country already, and three goals. Like Axel Tuanzebe, he also had eligibility for DR Congo.
- The 22-year-old is entering his third season at Moenchengladbach after joining from Young Boys in 2017. His side sit top of the Bundesliga after seven games.
- Opta powered website Whoscored.com rank Zakaria as the 15th best player in the Bundesliga this season. He averages 2.3 tackles per game, higher than any Manchester United midfielder this season.
- Zakaria says he counts Paul Pogba as one of his idols. He told the Bundesliga website: “I’ve been compared to [Patrick] Vieira and [Paul] Pogba – two more players I really respect and, in a way, see as role models. When I watch videos of them I think I’d like to play that way.”
- He is under contract until 2022 but BILD report he is valued at ‘just’ 50 million Euros. This works out at £42.7 million.
What they said
Zakaria has earned big praise so far in his career and has been compared to illustrious players, beyond the Pogba and Vieira references he mentions.
Teammate Yann Sommer raved: “It’s not easy to compare him to the greats of the past, but he combines many qualities that have were really defined by Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane.”
Lothar Matthaus said: “I’m 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.”
Can United sign him?
The quick answer is yes, if they really want to. 50 million Euros is great value in this market, around the same fee Arsenal paid for Granit Xhaka three years ago. It also matches the amount paid by Leicester for Youri Tielemans this summer.
At just 22, Zakaria is an outstanding prospect who is only going to get better. United need to act before Gladbach offer him a new deal and put themselves in a stronger position.
One potential problem is his club topping the Bundesliga. He may want to stay to complete that challenge rather than walk away mid-season, while if they qualify for the Champions League, Zakaria may be reluctant to give this up considering United are unlikely to qualify for the competition next season as it stands.
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