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Zakaria: I’m a fighter always wanting to improve

Juventus finally have the central defensive midfielder they have craved for so long

Juventus Press Conference Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus’ struggles for some time now have been predicated on the midfield failing to coherently connect the defence and the attack. The Bianconeri have had a surfeit of players who love to bomb forward but have not necessarily had the players to shield the backline, which has resulted in a lot more goals being conceded than would be the norm for a Juventus side that has always prided itself on defending with grinta.

However, with the movement of a couple of players out the door during the January transfer window, Juve were finally able to address the central defensive midfield position and they captured one of the brightest young talents in Europe for that position as well in Denis Zakaria.

Speaking at his unveiling earlier today, the midfielder talked about why he made the choice to join Juve from Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“I chose Juve because it is one of the clubs that has always made me dream. I decided that it would be the right way to continue my career.

“I expected to leave Borussia but not so soon. Juventus don’t call every day, it’s a dream for me and I hope I can help.”

The Swiss-born player is also eligible to play for the Democratic Republic of Congo where his father is from, and he revealed that his father has been a Juve fan.

“I am proud to be here, Juventus were the favourite team of my father, so I know a lot about this club. I’ll try to give my all, trying to help my teammates as much as I can.”

The 25-year-old has already trained a couple of times at Vinovo, and has met most of his new teammates.

“The level is very high, the atmosphere is good. I feel well and I’ve already trained twice. If the coach needs I can play already. He [Allegri] has told me what he expects from me, but we haven’t discussed the details.”

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Who does Zakaria model his game around?

“If I think about someone, I would say Patrick Vieira, I’ve always liked him. However, I am Zakaria and I try to have my style without following an exact model.

“I am an aggressive midfielder, I like to help the team recover the ball, but I also like to attack. I can describe myself as a complete player.”

What would he say his goals for his football career are?

“I am not going to stop here, I am a fighter and I always want to improve. It’s an important step for me, but I always want to become stronger. I have a chance to make it here, this is a step forward, not the last one.”