Chelsea have begun making moves in the transfer market, deals that Joe Mourinho hopes will take his side back to the top of the Premier League. It’s not just moves in the forward positions that the Portuguese manager has made so far, but defensively he has shown his hand for next season.
David Luiz has been moved to Paris Saint-Germain for £40 million, and now young centre-back Tomas Kalas has joined German side FC Koln on loan for the 2014/15 season. This will have a huge bearing on the development of young French centre-back Kurt Zouma. In the current squad this now places Zouma as the third-choice centre-back, and will be a massive boost to the confidence of the 19-year-old.
Zouma signed for Chelsea in January, but after the £12 million deal was completed he returned on loan to Saint-Etienne and finished the season in Ligue 1. It perhaps wasn’t the best four months of his career, but it was essential to his growth. After spending a huge part of the season suspended after an over-eager tackle on Sochaux’s Thomas Guerbert earned him a 10-game ban, Zouma needed game time and Les Verts was the best place for him to gain essential minutes.
Now it seems very likely that Zouma will join the Chelsea squad for the new season and will begin the next stage of his career under the guidance of Chelsea’s duo of England international’s Gary Cahill and John Terry.
Mourinho will have few doubts that Zouma is ready for the physical challenges of the Premier League, he is already an impressive athlete and few will beat him for strength and pace along the ground. What he needs now is to learn from experience defenders, and play against a different class in forward.
This is something he will get every day at Chelsea. He will come up against Eden Hazard and most likely Diego Costa in training and then Mourinho will give him opportunities to test himself against some of the talent in the Premier League.
It is a slight gamble from Mourinho, but this is the right time to give Zouma the next huge challenge in his career. He hasn’t failed any so far and the future France international has a fantastic career ahead of him.