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Thomas Tuchel tells Denis Zakaria how to avoid Saul Niguez fate after deadline day Chelsea move

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he is aware of the risks that come with deadline-day signings, but hopes that Denis Zakaria will find it easier to adjust than Saul Niguez. In the final hours of the summer transfer window, Chelsea signed the Juventus midfielder on loan.

Zakaria completed his medical in Turin on Thursday before arriving at Cobham Training Ground to wrap up the deal. Subject to being granted a work permit, the 25-year-old is set to be involved in Tuchel’s squad for the first time next week as the Blues face Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night in the Champions League and Fulham on Saturday.


Speaking on the Switzerland international’s arrival, the German admitted his concerns over signing the midfielder as late as the west Londoners did in the window. But, Tuchel insisted that he is looking forward to Zakaria’s involvement.

There’s always a risk in everything and in every last minute deal,” the Chelsea boss said, before detailing the growing injury crisis at the club. “This was an option that came in very late. It was related maybe not to the numbers that we should have in midfield but actually have in midfield.


We have Kova [Mateo Kovacic] who has knee problems over the last weeks, who can hopefully make it without surgery and will be available right now. He was a little bit on the edge of surgery or no surgery during the last weeks with N’Golo Kante struggling.

Suddenly, we thought, is this enough? Ruben Loftus-Cheek suddenly had a hamstring injury which could have cost us maybe some games but fortunately he is available for tomorrow [against West Ham] but this was maybe the kind of situation.”


Tuchel continued by revelling in the versatility that Zakaria will offer. He said: “He gives us in my opinion a lot of options because he has a lot of speed, height and physicality to bring to this group.

He can play in a back three. He played for [Borussia] Monchengladbach in a back four as a central defender even, he can play in a back three as a defender. He can play both positions in midfield.


“He can play at even wing-back because he is fast enough and has the volume so I think giving the risks that you mentioned with Saul, he has a bit more positions to play in and a bit more of a physical profile hopefully.”

On summer deadline-day last year, Saul joined Chelsea on loan from Atletico Madrid. Initially, it was seen as a shrewd signing but the Spaniard was quickly seen as a liability and an option Tuchel couldn’t rely upon.

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