‘I have to’: Zakaria shares what Graham Potter told him before he made his Chelsea debut last night

Denis Zakaria has told BT Sport that Graham Potter told him to play like he had been training ahead of last night’s Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb.

The Swiss international made his first appearance for the club last night, in what turned out to be a sensational first impression on Blues fans.

He scored the second goal in the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, after Raheem Sterling had brought the scores level in the first half.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Zakaria has been forced to be patient for his first outing for the club. There had been reports that he was not rated by new manager Potter.

He has claimed now that before his debut, the former Brighton manager told him to perform as he has been doing so in training.

Zakaria shares Potter message

He said: “Nothing special. Only that I have to play like I train and to enjoy the game.

“I always want to play. When you have to see your teammates from the bench, it’s not easy. I’m always behind the team. I was waiting for my chance, it came today and I took it.”

After his impressive showing, Zakaria will now be hoping that he has put himself in contention to start in this Sunday’s big fixture with Arsenal.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The table toppers will be looking to extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League with a win over their London rivals at Stamford Bridge.

With Mateo Kovacic, N’golo Kante and Carney Chukwuemeka all currently injured, the Swiss international’s chance could be about to come to make an impact domestically as well as in Europe.

With a showing like he put in last night, it would be hard for Potter not to consider him. Defensive stability will certainly be at the forefront of his mind as he prepares his squad.

Jack is a writer for The Chelsea Chronicle. He has been a part of GRV Media since June 2022. He has a First Class Honours degree in Football Journalism from the University of Derby, graduating in 2021. Jack has experience working freelance for The Sun and The Athletic, whilst also being published for the Non-League Paper and reporting for Burton Albion's academy side. He is a lifelong Chelsea fan and will debate with anyone about everything and anything football related. He also holds a passion for gaming and music, and thinks he knows every word to every Oasis song ever released