The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are big fans of Kurt Zouma, and so reports linking him with a move away are concerning them…
Indeed, though Zouma has hardly played this year, a departure this summer – temporary or otherwise – would be nothing short of a huge mistake by Antonio Conte, and there are several reasons why.
Firstly, you have to consider Chelsea’s current situation. At present, they have Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta – two of whom are in the latter years of their career – and this trio has played pretty consistently for the Blues this season. They have done well, of course, but next season will be far tougher. A need for right-sided depth could see Cesar Azpilicueta forced out wide, whilst the increased frequency of game time brought about by the return of the Champions League will likely adversely affect both Cahill and Luiz – meaning that increased depth will be absolutely vital. Chelsea have been linked with a move for Virgil van Dijk as of late, in a deal that would certainly push towards the £50 million mark, and it is very tough to try and justify that when you consider that Kurt Zouma is sitting there in waiting.
After all, you must remember just how good Zouma was before his injury. Under Jose Mourinho and even Guus Hiddink, Zouma had become a mainstay in the first team, forming an excellent partnership with both Gary Cahill and John Terry. Though he is a youngster, he displayed all the characteristics of a top defender; timing, agility, leadership, strength, pace. Just because he missed such long spell with injury doesn’t mean that he has lost all that quality. Indeed, on the contrary, the Frenchman has looked better than ever when given a chance this year, and it is baffling as to why he hasn’t been given a chance under Antonio Conte.
Of course, the Italian could go out and spend big, and it could work out well for him. Van Dijk, for example, is one of Europe’s most talented defenders. Zouma is also a top defender, though, and he would be available on a free. Chelsea already have one of Europe’s best centre-halves waiting in the wings, and by keeping him, they could save millions that could resultantly be directed elsewhere.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
Let us know below!