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How Chelsea already have a top CB in Zouma

“Chelsea needs a centre back? Zouma. You don’t need to buy. You don’t need to spend. Zouma. He is champion of England, he played for Chel...

“Chelsea needs a centre back? Zouma. You don’t need to buy. You don’t need to spend. Zouma. He is champion of England, he played for Chelsea, Stoke and Everton in the PL, for France…where are you going to buy a better player than him?”- Jose Mourinho

Love him or hate him, sometimes Jose speaks the inconvenient truth about football, and you listen. The doubters will remain convinced only someone with a 9 figure price tag will sort out our defence, but for me, Jose is absolutely spot-on: the value Kurt Zouma brings to Chelsea cannot be understated. After a rough start to the season, he has ironed the mistakes out of his game and, on the verge of his prime, is looking more and more like a world-class CB (if he isn’t already). Fast, precise in his tackles, intelligent in his positioning, unmatched in the air and built like an absolute freight train, his qualities off the ball provide some much needed old-school physicality to an inexperienced and sometimes flimsy defence.

Zouma's defensive stats speak for themselves: with 2 interceptions, 1 tackle and 4 clearances per 90, as well as the (joint) highest aerial duel win % in the league from those with at least 50 duels, he is undoubtedly a rock at the back for us this season.

On top of all that, we often overlook just how good a ball player Zouma is. A jack of all trades on the ball, Zouma is 2nd best in every key stat, taking a little bit of each of our other CB’s key traits. Falling just short of Christensen’s passing accuracy, Tomori’s dribbles and Rudiger’s long balls, he makes the ideal CB partner for any of our other 3 options depending on if we want to emphasize safety, ball progression or creativity.

He may have his awkward moments as our defence continues to adapt to Frank’s demands and develop an understanding together, but for all the big-name buys that have been thrown around as potential fixes for our poor defensive record, throwing money at the problem with no guarantee of success isn’t the solution. As far as I’m concerned, Zouma has done enough not just to deserve a new contract but to convince me that, given some patience, he is the man to build our defence around for the next 5 years and beyond.

Written by - Misha @MishaCFC
Edit by - Kristen @KristenPulisic

1 comment

  1. Easily the best "defensive" defender we have who is solid 95% of the time. I think he can still dive into more challenges instead of marking space.