Denis Zakaria has joined Mönchengladbach from Swiss side Young Boys. - © © gettyimages / marc eich
Denis Zakaria has joined Mönchengladbach from Swiss side Young Boys. - © © gettyimages / marc eich

Gladbach sign Switzerland international Zakaria

Borussia Mönchengladbach have secured the services of promising Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria for next season.

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The 20-year-old arrives from Young Boys, whom he helped to a runners-up finish in the Swiss Super League in each of the past two years.

The central midfielder, who played against Gladbach in a UEFA Champions League qualifier last season, has signed a five–year-contract with the Foals.

"The support of the Borussia fans in Berne was unbelieveable. The atmosphere in BORUSSIA-PARK was also impressive," Zakaria said at Friday's press conference. "It's my goal to help Borussia play in Europe once again."

Zakaria already has three caps for Switzerland and will help replace Mahmoud Dahoud, who left Dieter Hecking's team for Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.

"After the departure of Mo Dahoud it was important for us to bring in a very good player in that position," Gladbach's sporting director Max Eberl explained. "Denis has robustness. We need that, but he is a different kind of player."

He becomes Gladbach's third summer signing following the arrivals of attacking midfielder Vincenzo Grifo from Freiburg and French teenager Mickaël Cuisance from Nancy.

The Geneva native started out at local club Servette but had played only a handful of games for the first team before he was snapped up by Young Boys in the summer of 2015.

Zakaria will soften the blow of the loss of Germany Under-21 international Dahoud to Borussia Dortmund. - © gettyimages / Mouhtaropoulos / Bongarts

Since then Zakaria has played 50 league games in the Swiss top flight and also gained experience in European competition. He started in Young Boys’ 6-1 Champions League loss in Gladbach last year before featuring in five UEFA Europa League group stage matches.

The rangy midfielder was part of Switzerland’s squad for Euro 2016 but did not play at the tournament. He will join four other Swiss players at Gladbach - Yann Sommer, Nico Elvedi, Djibril Sow and Josip Drmic, and hopes to enjoy the same success at the club as another compatriot and fellow midfielder, Granit Xhaka.

"Granit Xhaka is an example for me to follow, though I'm a different kind of player," Zakaria explained. "It's a big step for me to come to the Bundesliga. I want to prove to myself I can do it."

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