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“I can run fast but I didn’t know I can play in that position!” – Chelsea star reacts to Thomas Tuchel suggesting new role for him

Tuchel suggested Zakaria could play as a wing-back
Tuchel suggested Zakaria could play as a wing-back

Chelsea midfielder Denis Zakaria has reacted with surprise to former manager Thomas Tuchel suggesting he could play as a wing-back, as per football-london.

Zakaria joined the Blues from Juventus on transfer deadline day on a season-long loan with the option to buy for around £26 million.

He is yet to make his debut since arriving at Chelsea and will need to impress if his move is to be made permanent.

However, he was surprised to hear that former Blues boss Tuchel had suggested he could field Zakaria as a wing-back.

The Swiss midfielder said when asked if he could play the role:

"Oh, no, no, no,"

He continued,

"I didn't know (Tuchel said that). Ok, I can run fast but I didn't know I can play in that position! I am a really flexible player. Yes, I can adapt myself. That's also a good part of me. In the end, I am a midfield player first."
Thomas Tuchel on Denis Zakaria:"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."[via @MailSport]

Zakaria joined Juve from Borussia Monchengladbach in January for £7.74 million and he made just 15 appearances for the Turin side as injury issues took hold.

The midfielder needn't worry about potentially being dropped into a wing-back role as Graham Potter's side boast several options in the position.

Reece James is quickly becoming one of Europe's most highly regarded right-backs.

He has made nine appearances this season in all competitions, with two goals and as many assists.

Meanwhile, club-captain Cesar Azplicueta can play a wing-back role if need be, as his versatility has seen him play various positions in defense.

The left-hand side of Potter's defense has real depth through Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell.

Cucurella arrived from Brighton & Hove Albion for £58.7 million this past summer and has made eight appearances, providing two assists.

Chilwell has come back into the side recently and has made nine appearances, scoring one goal and providing two assists.


Zakaria eager to stay at Chelsea

Zakaria not looking to return to Turin
Zakaria not looking to return to Turin

Zakaria was also coveted by Liverpool before he arrived at Stamford Bridge from Juve.

The Blues beat the Reds to his signature with Jurgen Klopp's side signing his former Old Lady teammate Arthur Melo on loan instead.

The Swiss midfielder has explained how he heard about the Anfield outfit's interest but that he opted for west London in the end.

He has also hinted that he doesn't want to return to the Allianz Stadium once his loan deal wraps up next summer, saying:

“I heard that from my agent (Liverpool's interest), but in the end it was Chelsea, and I think I’ll be happier in England than in Turin."
Work mode. 👊🏾 https://t.co/RhE8AlSalj

Zakaria may be part of Chelsea side that takes on Wolverhampton Wanderers on October 8 and he will be looking to impress if given an opportunity.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett
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