Despite interest from a variety of clubs in the French Ligue 1, Chelsea’s out-of-favour defender Kurt Zouma has rubbished off a move away from Stamford Bridge, instead eager to prove himself as a bona fide centre-back for the London heavyweights.
Once touted as Chelsea’s next best centre-back, the Lyon-born Zouma hasn’t exactly been given any chance to prove himself with the squad last season, making only three starts in the league, totaling nine appearances over all. While he has been given some playing time in cup games, the 22-year-old has only made a total 16 appearances for the club the whole season.
Perhaps it isn’t much help that Zouma has been out for most of last season with a cruciate ligament injury, which kept him out of action for three months into the 2016-17 campaign, forcing the French international to play a lesser role in Chelsea’s run towards the Premier League title.
With Zouma in the fringes of the team, many suitors have gathered around him like sharks, with many speculating the defender could soon go back to France, with the likes of Marseille, Nice, and native club Lyon waiting in the wings.
But the young centre-back appears to have dashed off any speculation regarding his future, instead in choosing to cement his place in the Chelsea ranks, telling French magazine France Football, “I have heard the rumours, and it’s flattering that I’m being scouted, but my main goal is to stay with Chelsea.
“Next season there will be many more matches – the cards will be back on the table and it’s up to me to do my job,” the defiant defender added.
Who is Kurt Zouma Again?
Any fan can be forgiven for forgetting who is Kurt Zouma. Indeed, after his sensational winter transfer move to Chelsea from French side Saint-Etienne back in January 2014 for an astounding £13-million when he was just 19 years of age, he was sent back to the French side for a loan spell until the end of that season.
In his first two seasons with the club, he was one of the first-choice centre-backs under then-manager Jose Mourinho, and even won a Premier League medal and a League Cup to his credit. But since then, too many mistakes have been made and he has played a more peripheral role under Antonio Conte, with his injury not making things any better.
Now, he is on the verge of leaving the English capital, and he has to get back to form if he really wants to stay with Chelsea, because while his middle name may be Happy, his employers certainly aren’t – for right now, he is surplus to requirements.