Chelsea have completed the signing of the highly rated French youngster.
Chelsea have officially completed the signing of 19-year-old defender Kurt Zouma from Saint-Etienne on a five-and-a-half-year contract.
The deal is reportedly worth around £12.5 million and sees the youngster loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the second half of the season, meaning Chelsea fans will have to wait to see him make his debut.
It’s a shrewd piece of business from Jose Mourinho and Chelsea, as they have secured the long term future of a youngster tipped to replace first team icon John Terry.
Zouma has all the natural attributes of a classic centre back; he’s tall at six feet and two inches, he’s quick and can play on either side of central defence which provides Mourinho with more options.
Chelsea deserve a lot of credit for wrapping this deal up today over the risk of leaving their pursuit until the summer, when there could have been greater competition and more complications as they tried to snap him up.
The decision to loan him back to Saint-Etienne is also a sensible one, although Sky’s Jamie Redknapp earlier questioned whether loaning him to an English side would have been a better option.
Allowing him to stay where he currently is lets him to adjust to the news and get ready to move over to England as a very young man for next season. It also allows him to maintain the momentum and consistency which he’s built up this season, which is what earned him the transfer to Chelsea in the first place.
Zouma will also benefit in a tactical sense from working with Jose Mourinho, one of the best tacticians in Premier League football. That will curb his understanding and reading of the game, making him an even better defender than he already is.
Here’s what Chelsea fans have been making of the news on Twitter.
Like as if we'd let a deadline day go without anything, a beast for the heart of defence. #Zouma— Dàrsàn. (@FakeWinger) January 31, 2014
#Zouma has made more clearances this season (102) than Chelsea trio Petr Cech, Ashley Cole & David Luiz combined (96).— Kipkirui Ronoh (@Kipz005) January 31, 2014
Lol we actually signed a football manager legend. This will be interesting. #zouma— Kerry Bishop (@Sontailsic) January 31, 2014
image: © KevFB