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The UEFA rule that is stopping Denis Zakaria featuring for Chelsea this season

Why the Blues want to avoid him playing a minute for them


Despite arriving at Stamford Bridge on deadline day on loan from Juventus, Denis Zakaria has yet to make his Blues debut, and has not even been in the Premier League squads so far this campaign.

The Swiss midfielder has spoken of his willingness to play and there are no concerns over his fitness, explaining that “I believe in myself 100 per cent”, but it seems as though the issue is more technical.

Zakaria was an addition made on the request of Thomas Tuchel, but since the German has departed the midfielder labelled ‘the Octopus’ by his teammates has not been favoured by new boss Graham Potter.

In fact, reports claim that the Blues are already looking at ways to terminate the loan move in January, and it is in aid of this that Zakaria has been nowhere to be seen in Matchday squads.

UEFA rules dictate that players can only turn out for two clubs in the same season, and the 25-year-old has already made two Serie A appearances for the Turin side this campaign before joining the Blues.

Therefore, should he make an appearance for Chelsea, he would not be able to join another club on loan from January, something that may harm the chances of Juventus accepting the request to terminate the loan move, with the midfielder clearly also surplus to requirements under Max Allegri.

It is for this reason that the likes of young midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka was handed his debut against Wolves rather than Zakaria, and it is bad news for both the midfielder and Switzerland, who will have a man lacking match fitness joining their World Cup squad in a month’s time.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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