Last season Jose Mourinho was caught on camera questioning if Samuel Eto’o is older than he says he is. Now a Chelsea player has revealed that he has been directly asked by the Portuguese if he has lied about his age.
Kurt Zouma is part of the Blues’ squad for the 2014-15 season. The 19-year-old defender was signed by Chelsea in January 2014, but he was allowed to remain at Saint-Etienne for the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign.
The France Under-21 international is settling in fine with his Chelsea teammates and seems to be having quite a lot of fun. Speaking to L'Equipe, the teenager has revealed how he is the butt of many good-humoured jokes, with even Mourinho not refraining from teasing him.
‘In the squad, they have a bit of laugh at me, about my age because I'm a big, solid guy of 19’, said Zouma. ‘Even the coach once, he made fun of me. There was a blood test, and he told me jokingly: Now we'll see if you've lied about your age’.
Mourinho was clearly joking about Zouma’s age, and in February he was probably doing the same about Eto’o when he said in a private conversation: ‘I have Eto'o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?’.
The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid coach’s comments were (probably) blown out of proportion, with even Eto’o going on to hit out at Mourinho in his interviews after leaving Chelsea at the end of last season.
Zouma is indeed 19 and is a brilliant talent. Having made over 50 Ligue 1 appearances for Saint-Etienne, the Frenchman will now be determined to make an impression on the Stamford Bridge faithful.
It will not be easy for Zouma to get too much playing time for Chelsea, at least in the initial stages of the season, thanks to John Terry and Gary Cahill still going strong. However, given his talent and the number of games the Premier League giants will play this season, Zouma will get his chances eventually.