As reported yesterday here on The Pride of London, Kurt Zouma has officially signed with Chelsea FC but will remain at St. Ettiene for the remainder of the season on loan. The deal benefits both clubs as Chelsea locks down a potential world class center back and St. Ettiene keeps their best defender as they fight for a Champions League place. The 19-year old French international has signed a five and a half year deal with Chelsea which will see him under contract with the Blues until the end of the 2018/19 season.
The confirmation of the signing from Chelsea FC’s official Twitter account here:
— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 31, 2014
All of a sudden Chelsea are loaded with a crop of young talented center backs with Zouma joining the likes of Kenneth Omeruo, Tomas Kalas, and even Nathaniel Chalobah. Omeruo is already an established international with Nigeria and has shown great promise. Kalas has impressed in loan spells at Vitesse Arnheim but he has yet to prove himself in a Chelsea shirt. Chalobah may project more as a defensive midfielder with his ball playing skills but he could develop in to the center back he was brought in to be.
Chelsea currently have three experienced center backs on their roster with David Luiz, John Terry, and Gary Cahill. The smart play here would be extend John Terry for another year and sell Gary Cahill who is the weakest defender of the three. Cahill has a penchant for last ditch tackles and Chelsea would not have won the Europa League last year without his heroics but his insistence on giving attackers too much space hurts the Chelsea defense. A center back rotation of Terry, Luiz, Omeruo, and Zouma in 2014/15 would be excellent and would continue Chelsea’s tradition of having a lock-down defense. If it is indeed Terry that is let go at the end of the season than the young defenders must step up and adapt to the rigors of the Premiership. There may be a few bumps on the road but Chelsea’s defense is in excellent hands moving forward.