Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho used the League Cup game against Shrewsbury Town as a chance to give younger players a chance to impress him.
The Blues won 2-1 with Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake all getting starts with Zouma in particular having an impressive game in central defence next to Gary Cahill.
Zouma was signed from Saint-Etienne in a £12 million deal, which looks like a bargain with the Frenchman an obvious long term replacement for Chelsea icon John Terry in the middle of the defence.
His best qualities seem to be his pace and the way he reads the game.
His pace allows the Chelsea defence to play a higher defensive line as he can compensate for any mistakes and get back into position.
The way he reads the game also enables Chelsea to play a higher line because he can try and read the play and step in to cut out danger before it develops to a point where it could hurt the Blues.
Mourinho has played a smart game with Zouma so far in terms of selecting when to use him and when to protect him with the more experienced combination of Cahill and Terry stepping into the back four.
It’s up the youngster to produce consistent performances, like the one against Shrewsbury, when he does get a chance and eventually prove why he’s the best player to be in the heart of the Chelsea defence.
Chelsea’s season sees the fixtures piled high and while Zouma isn’t a regular starter in the Premier League, there are plenty of chances for him to feature and get chances in the domestic cup competitions.
He could also feature later in the Champions League if Chelsea have already secured qualification to the first knock out round.
Here’s what Chelsea fans had to say about his performance against the Shrews last night.
#Zouma is having another majestic game. flawless so far.— Chinedu Chidebelu (@ChelseaNews365) October 28, 2014
CFC_FAN_) October 28, 2014
Without a shadow of doubts he's always happy and smiling. Loving the lad. #Zouma— ChelseaThings (@ramycfc) October 28, 2014
Zouma and Cahill were good at the back by once again came undone from a set piece.. #CFC— Vesley Rodrigues (@VesleyR_CFC) October 29, 2014
Christensen was fantastic tonight, Zouma looke solid, Luis so reliable as usual, Ake looked good too! Salah + Mikel though.. #CFC— Milan Enşlin (@RealDeviation2) October 28, 2014
Zouma very solid as well. Tidy on the balĺ with good distribution. Bright future ahead. Ake is looking better every game. #CFC— Tom Andrews (@CarefreeTom_182) October 28, 2014
Kids were impressive tonight. Christensen and Zouma nice and solid. Aké really is a classy little midfielder.— Joe (@JoeTweeds) October 28, 2014
Zouma pretty solid tonight but Cahill looking lost without JT next to him— David Bartlett (@eaststandgate13) October 28, 2014