Everton boss Marco Silva told the Liverpool Echo he is hoping to keep Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma next season, and it seems that’d be the best move get his career back on track.
The Frenchman has played 23 of Everton’s 27 games this season in what’s been a very hit-and-miss campaign for the Toffees. However, Silva appears happy with the 24-year-old’s progression, saying: “I’m really happy with him, let’s see what we can do or not in the future.”
When playing for his parent club Chelsea against Manchester United in February 2016, Zouma suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament. Up until then, he played 23 games for the club that season and looked to be the best young defender in the Premier League, but he’s understandably struggled to reach those heights since returning from injury nearly 300 days later.
His loan spell at Everton has been his first major run of games since that injury and it’s been required to get that full match fitness back. Although Everton haven’t shone as some expected them to do this season, for Zouma personally, the season has been a success so far and it’s important he continues to play consistently.
This season was about getting back to regular football and next term he can really push on and show the league that his injury hasn’t had too much of a lasting impact on his career. It’s at that point he can earn his move back to a top-six club and no earlier, otherwise, he might find himself back to step one.
A return to Chelsea next year, or even a move to another club who already have established centre-backs will mean more time on the sideline and cameo appearances that won’t allow him the opportunity to regain his pre-injury stride. There’s also more chance of another injury if he isn’t playing regularly, and something similar to 2016 would put big clubs off in the future.
Zouma should stay at Everton next season and continue to build his career back up because, after all, he’s still 24-years-old and should be in no rush to the top.
Where do you think Kurt Zouma should play next season?