Zakaria can’t replace Declan Rice at West Ham


Whilst I welcome any new additions to the Hammers squad, I’m a little concerned over the arrival of Denis Zakaria. The Swiss international is a decent player but Zakaria can’t replace Declan Rice at the London Stadium.

I’m hoping that we’re signing the hulking midfielder as a squad player, rather than a direct replacement for our departing captain. Following Zakaria’s £25 million move to Juventus, he’s featured infrequently. As a result he was loaned out to Chelsea last season, where he was also sparsely used.

Zakaria has also had his fair share of injuries and missed almost a year following knee surgery. His injury record over the last two seasons has not been too bad, however it is a concern.

His medical history is in stark contrast to that of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. Arsenal might feel £100m is a little excessive but Rice never gets injured and that’s a commodity.

Denis Zakaria can’t replace Declan Rice at the London Stadium

So whilst I feel that Zakaria would make a good squad player, it would be a risk to expect 50 games per season from him.

In the interests of balance it should be pointed out that Zakaria is a fine player. It wasn’t too long ago that he was heralded as one of Europe’s most promising midfielders. He’s quick, has brutish strength and travels well with the ball. In many respects he is ideally suited to the Premier League.

But at 26 he has to deliver. He’s played nowhere near enough football during the last two seasons, which is reflected in the transfer fee.

Hopefully David Moyes can get the best out of Zakaria. If he does West Ham will have a fine player and a bargain. . . . just keep the magic sponge at the ready.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose