Borussia have officially confirmed the signing of midfielder Denis Zakaria from Young Boys Bern. On Friday, the 20 year old was unveiled in a press conference.
Denis Zakaria on…
… his decision to join Borussia: I felt their faith in me when I was speaking to them - this is how it was when I moved from Servette Genf to Young Boys Bern two years ago. I feel the move is a good decision for me, and Borussia are the next step in my career.
… the Bundesliga: I’ve spoken to many of my international teammates who play in the Bundesliga. They’ve confirmed to me that moving to here is a big step. I see the transfer as a challenge – I want to prove to myself that I can play at this level.
… his strengths: I’m good in the tackle. I’m capable of covering a lot of ground and running up and down the pitch. I do, however, have to keep improving. This is why I decided to take this step into the Bundesliga.
... Europe: Of course, I want to play in Europe. Borussia are a team that has played in Europe in the past few years. That won’t be the case next season, but the club wants to get back there – and that’s obviously one of my goals too.
… the support of the Gladbach fans in the play-offs against Bern: It was unbelievable to see. The whole city was white because of the many Borussia fans who traveled. The amount of fans that came was really impressive. BORUSSIA-PARK also had an impressive atmosphere, even though I was comfortably beaten there with Bern.
Max Eberl on…
… Denis Zakaria’s transfer: The fact we’ve had good experiences with Swiss players is well-known. It’s also well-known that Switzerland is a country that’s works fantastically with talented youngsters and educates them. We’ve known about Denis for some time. A year ago against Young Boys Bern, we were able to watch him very closely. He’s a player with unbelievable potential. Denis is strong in the tackle, a robust and very quick midfielder, who has the ability to develop unbelievably in the offensive side of his game, and who bring pace to midfield. Therefore, he’s a different type of player to Mo Dahoud. We need his robustness. Denis has shown that again and again over the last few years; he’s developed very well. After we knew Mo was leaving, it was important for us to sign a very good player and by signing Denis, we’ve done just that.
… how the team could line up in midfield: We used to have Granit Zhaka and Christoph Kramer in midfield, which worked very well. After, we had Mo and Chris, and now we’ll have Kramer and Zakaria if both establish themselves in pre-season. In Christoph Kramer, we have someone who likes to play football, and in Denis, we have a box-to-box player. With Traoré, Grifo, Johnson, Hofmann, Bénes, Stindl, Hazard and Raffael, we already have many players to play good football. In signing Denis, we wanted to bring in some stability to the team. We have to be able to defend well, as that’s the most important thing in the Bundesliga.