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“Thanks to everyone” – Chelsea midfielder confirms departure after penning farewell message



(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Denis Zakaria has expressed his gratitude to Chelsea fans after bidding farewell to Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old will return to Juventus this summer after his season-long loan spell at Chelsea concluded following the end of the 2022/23 campaign last weekend.

Zakaria joined on loan with an option to make the switch permanent, but newly-appointed head coach Mauricio Pochettino made the decision not to trigger the buy clause, which sees the Swiss international head back to Italy where he will assess his next options.

He was limited to just 11 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, restricted due to the competition for places in midfield.

Zakaria is one of the many casualties in west London this summer as Chelsea overhaul their squad, particularly in the midfield department.

Jorginho was sold to Arsenal in January, while Mateo Kovacic nears a move to Manchester City and Mason Mount closes in on a potential move to Manchester United. N’Golo Kante’s future is also unclear, he is out of contract next month and an extension is yet to be agreed. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has also been linked with a move to AC Milan.

Zakaria follows fellow loanee Joao Felix out of the door. Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo confirmed on Tuesday that Pochettino made the decision not to bring him back to England earlier this week.

The midfielder took to Instagram on Thursday evening to say goodbye to Chelsea, writing: “It’s been a tough time but you guys always had my back. Thanks to everyone who’s been supporting me! Let’s focus on the beautiful memories.”