After adding to his midfield options with the signing of Nemanja Matic from Benfica, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho appears on the verge of adding to his defense in Saint Ettiene centerback Kurt Zouma. Zouma is a French international who has been touted as the natural partner to Raphael Varane in the French backline for years to come. Zouma has been a rumored transfer target for many top European clubs but in a recent interview with ESPN, he confirms talks with Chelsea and his desire to join the club:
“There was advanced contact last month, at the start I thought it was a joke but afterwards I quickly took his call seriously. When a great man like Jose Mourinho calls a little player like Kurt Zouma, it’s nice. It doesn’t happen every day and it’s a big sign of respect and confidence. If you tell me to go to Chelsea, I’ll go there immediately! Especially after the call from the coach. It’s given me ideas.”
Now there’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to transfers but it appears that Zouma is very keen on joining Chelsea. He is an interesting prospect who may be seen as the long term replacement for current captain John Terry who is out of contract at the end of the season. Zouma’s arrival may put the status of reserve centerback Tomas Kalas in jeopardy, but at only 20 years old there is plenty of time for Kalas to prove himself.
One of the knocks on Zouma is the fact that he is wrapping up a ten-game suspension for breaking an opponents leg in a tackle. The internet was ablaze with folks calling it a “horror tackle” and claiming that Zouma should be suspended for twice as long. I felt the challenge was fair but a bit unfortunate as the opponent’s foot was caught under Zouma’s backside. Judge for yourself here:
Leg-breaking tackles aside, Zouma would be a wonderful signing for Chelsea and while he won’t walk directly in to the first team, he can certainly make an impact this year as a rotation player.