Zouma tipped to shine ‘for years to come’

Manager Jose Mourinho says Kurt Zouma has the quality to become a key Chelsea player for “years to come”.

The 20-year-old French defender, a £12.5m signing from St Etienne, has made 11 appearances for the Blues this season and has drawn regular praise from Mourinho and the coaching staff.

Mourinho said Zouma, who replaced Gary Cahill for his first Premier League start in the 2-0 win over Newcastle, has been “very impressive” and his performances have justified the decision not to let him go out on loan.

“We bought a talent but the talent was far from being ready and in the beginning of the season there were people thinking he would be better to go and play somewhere,” Mourinho said.

Mourinho believes Zouma has a bright future at Chelsea
Mourinho believes Zouma has a bright future at Chelsea

“But we thought it was better for him to learn and have his evolution here in this habitat, where for sure he will be a player for many years to come. We are very happy with him.”

Zouma will replace John Terry in the side for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round home tie against League One side Bradford City.

And Mourinho has also said Petr Cech will be in goal and fringe wide-men Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah will play.

But he said there was no chance of Chelsea, who face Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday, taking either cup competition – or the Bantams – lightly.

“We have two knockout matches in three days so after Tuesday we can be in four competitions or only two,” Mourinho said. “And of course we want to be in all four.

“My team tomorrow reflects that. If we lose the game we are out and if we draw we have to go to Bradford. We don’t want to be out and we don’t want to go to Bradford and have a second match.”

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook