Kurt Zouma is a strange case for Chelsea. The Frenchman remains a talented player, however, since arriving at Stamford Bridge has made more appearances for his loan clubs than he has for Chelsea. So, why has Zouma failed to live up to the high expectations that have surrounded him since he arrived at the west London club in 2014?
Cast your minds back to the 31st of January 2015, and Chelsea drew 1-1 at home to Manchester City in Jose Mourinho’s second season at the club. The following day, Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy came out and compared Zouma to Marcel Desailly. High praise indeed for the then 20-year-old centre-back.
The fall-off from there has been pretty spectacular, as Zouma has made only 60 appearances in all competitions since that game versus Manchester City. Loan spells at both Stoke City and Everton have come and gone, and still, Zouma has failed to prove his worth. While on-loan at Stoke City Zouma was part of the team that suffered relegation down to the Championship. And his loan spell at Everton last season proved to be a mixed experience for Zouma. Everton conceded a mass 46 goals in the Premier League and suffered inconsistent form all season despite finishing in 8th place in the Premier League.
So, what comes next for the £25 million-rated Zouma? Well, with Chelsea currently in the midst of a transfer market ban for the next two windows, and proving to be horrible defensively last season, Zouma may be able to revive his career in west London. However, he will firmly remain the 4th or 5th choice for Chelsea with Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and David Luiz seemingly ahead of Zouma in the pecking order after being retained for first-team action last season. And with Fikayo Tomori enjoying a hugely successful season under the potentially incoming Frank Lampard last season, he too could be ahead of Zouma in the pecking order.
It is safe to say that Zouma has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded his first season at Stamford Bridge. Failed loan spells at Stoke City and Everton have shown huge weaknesses in the French international’s game. However, there’s no doubt that Zouma still has an amplitude of ability, whether he will get the chance to showcase it at Chelsea is another question.