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Denis Zakaria ‘set for Graham Potter talks over lack of Chelsea game time’

Denis Zakaria ‘set for Graham Potter talks over lack of Chelsea game time’

Denis Zakaria is reportedly eager to hold talks with Chelsea head coach Graham Potter regarding his lack of game time this season.

During the final hours of the summer transfer window, the Blues launched a late bid for the midfielder, subsequently securing his services on a season-long loan deal.

The Switzerland international had been expected to work his way into the plans of Thomas Tuchel after only featuring in two matches at parent club Juventus during August.

However, with Tuchel being sacked less than a week after his arrival at Stamford Bridge, the 25-year-old was left with an uncertain future under replacement Potter.

Given the hectic schedule through October and early part of November, it was perceived that Zakaria would be provided with time on the pitch in the lead up to the World Cup.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter in the dugout against Crystal Palace on October 1, 2022.© Reuters

Nevertheless, Zakaria is yet to play a single minute of football for Chelsea in the five matches that he has been deemed available, the first coming under Tuchel.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the player now wants to discuss his immediate future with Potter.

While Zakaria would likely still be named in Switzerland’s squad for the upcoming tournament in Qatar, he is aware that only first-team football will secure a place in Murat Yakin‘s starting lineup.

As it stands, he is yet to feature in a Premier League squad, missing out for the games with Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Juventus' Paulo Dybala celebrates scoring their first goal with Denis Zakaria and Dusan Vlahovic on February 10, 2022© Reuters

Although he has been named among the replacements for three fixtures in the Champions League, that has not led to an appearance in the closing stages of matches against Dinamo Zagreb, Red Bull Salzburg and AC Milan.

With N’Golo Kante now closing in on a return from a hamstring injury, Zakaria’s opportunities will likely be further reduced, even with Potter opting to play a central three on occasions.

However, Zakaria is capable of playing at centre-back, and Wesley Fofana‘s month-long knee injury may lead to him becoming an option for Potter in that area of the pitch should Potter need an alternative.

Chelsea possess the option of signing Zakaria for £30m at the end of the season, a clause which appears highly unlikely to be activated unless he earns opportunities in the short and long term.

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