Just in: Denis Zakaria confirms Arsenal advanced talks

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Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria has revealed he turned down the chance to join Arsenal in the summer.

The 20-year-old joined Gladbach from Swiss side Young Boys during the summer transfer window. According to Swiss outlet Blick, Arsenal were interested in signing him.

He has settled into life at Germany quickly and has now told Kicker via Weltfussball that he had offers from England. “There was interest from England, which I can confirm, but the people at Borussia really fought very hard for me,” Zakaria said.

“I had the impression that they wanted me absolutely, that impressed me, my [gut] feeling told me that Gladbach is the best choice for me. In time I can go on to an even larger club; the past has often proved that.”

His decision to join Gladbach has been vindicated as he has started six out of their seven Bundesliga games so far. The midfielder’s most recent appearance was off the bench during Gladbach’s 2-1 win over Hannover.

The German club seem prepared to offer him plenty of first-team football, something he wouldn’t have received at Arsenal, in my opinion. The 20-year-old would have been behind Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin and even Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla with Arsenal.

At best, I feel Zakaria would have either played in just cup matches or would have been loaned out somewhere. The defensive midfielder made 50 league appearances for Young Boys before making the switch to Germany. He’s also won five senior caps for the Swiss national team.

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