Chelsea

Chelsea: Kurt Zouma criticised for ‘daft’ weekend performance by Andy Townsend

Chelsea: Kurt Zouma criticised for ‘daft’ weekend performance by Andy Townsend

‘A bit daft’ – Andy Townsend questions ability of Chelsea defender

Former Chelsea player Andy Townsend has labelled defender Kurt Zouma as ‘daft’ – and thinks the club will have problems at the back with the Frenchman as part of their defence.

Townsend suggested that Zouma has not improved as a player in recent years, citing aspects of his performance against Manchester United – which included giving away the penalty that gifted United the lead.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live prior to Chelsea’s Super Cup defeat to Liverpool, he said: “I just haven’t seen him develop as a player. I find he defends a bit naïve for a guy that’s been around long enough to have picked it up a bit by now.

“That ball he rolled across the box at the weekend to Martial – little things like that tell me that if you’re a player that’s required at the very top, you don’t get involved in that sort of stuff. And I know that Frank [Lampard] wants him to play, but that’s not playing – that’s being a bit daft.

“I just think going forward, Christensen and Zouma [are] going to present problems.”

Chelsea’s defence has a depleted look about it right now, and that hasn’t been helped by David Luiz’s departure to Arsenal just before the season’s kick-off.

The club bid farewell to Gary Cahill at the end of the previous campaign, while Antonio Rudiger has only recently returned to injury following the knee trouble that cut his season short, and the club’s transfer embargo has seen youngster Fikayo Tomori be drafted in as centre-back cover.

With 24-year-old Zouma having the experience of playing top-flight football at Stoke City and Everton whilst out of favour at Chelsea, perhaps Townsend’s concerns over the defender are justified.

Let’s not forget, Zouma is a two-time Premier League winner – which suggests he knows what it takes to not only play at the top level, but to succeed there, too.

Whether his mistakes against United at the weekend were down to nerves as he returned to the Chelsea fold remains to be seen throughout this season – and with a lack of options at Frank Lampard’s disposal, he may have no choice but to put faith in Zouma for the foreseeable future.

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