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Chelsea

Zakaria explains odd 'Octopus' nickname & airs Chelsea transfer hope

16:57 GMT+3 07/10/2022
Denis Zakaria Octopus
Denis Zakaria arrived at Chelsea on transfer deadline day and brought with him a rather peculiar nickname from his time in Germany and Italy.
  • Swiss midfielder joined Blues on loan
  • Has spent time in Germany and Italy
  • Hoping to earn permanent move to London

WHAT HAPPENED? The Switzerland international midfielder is a proven performer at the very highest level, having had spells at Borussia Monchengladbach and Juventus while also earning 42 caps for his country. His ability to recover possession in the middle of the park has been him become a useful asset for sides in the Bundesliga, Serie A and Premier League, with that skill set earning him an odd moniker.

WHAT THEY SAID: Asked by football.london to explain why he is known as The Octopus, Zakaria said: “It’s because I have very long legs. I used to win a lot of balls in midfield so that is why they said octopus. It was funny and it was positive…I hope!”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: That ability is yet to be seen by Chelsea, who snapped Zakaria up from Juve on an initial season-long loan agreement prior to Thomas Tuchel’s departure as manager, but the 25-year-old is determined to prove his worth and earn a permanent stay. He added on his future ambition: “We have a lot of games and I think every player will have their chance. It’s at that moment the player has to take their chance and play well. If you don’t do good, you don’t have the chance to stay. Chelsea is a big club and if you’re not good enough, you can’t stay at this club. I am here to prove that I deserve to be here, that I am a good player and I can help the team. That is the most important thing. I want to win trophies and help the team win. If I have the chance to play, I will give my 100% to help. That is the biggest point. We will see what happens at the end.”

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ZAKARIA? Chelsea will be back in Premier League action on Saturday at home to Wolves, with Zakaria hoping that his bow for the Blues will come sooner rather than later.