Chelsea's Kurt Zouma reveals why League Cup is 'good opportunity'

Kurt Zouma

Kurt Zouma made just his third start of the season in Chesea’s 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town.

The French Under-21 international completed a switch to Stamford Bridge in January, with a £10.5 million fee spent to fight off interest from Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United.

He spent the second half of last season on-loan with former club St Etienne, but, having arrived in West London over the summer, he has remained third-choice central defender behind club captain John Terry and England international Gary Cahill.

Whilst he has made just one substitute league appearance for the Blues, coming on in injury time and failing to prevent Manchester United equalising in Sunday’s key Premier League game, the 20-year-old has started both of Chelsea’s League Cup victories, as well as the 6-0 Champions League destruction of Maribor, and he netted his first goal for the club in the League Cup third-round victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Despite the League Cup coming under criticism for the apparent weakness of the competition, it is used regularly to give younger players appearances when they wouldn’t else get a chance to prove themselves, and Zouma told Standard Sport that the competition is the perfect opportunity for out-of-favour players like himself to get involved in competitive match action.

The young prospect said: “For youngsters it’s a very good opportunity to play and show our level, we have to win matches. The coach has told us that.”

Despite achieving victory in both League Cup ties played this season, and securing a quarter-final with Championship promotion contenders Derby County - in which Zouma is likely to feature - the Blues have struggled to impress, and head coach Jose Mourinho has criticised a number of his players for failing to turn in match-winning performances when given their chance. If Zouma intends to dislodge the defensive unit of John Terry and Gary Cahill in the Premier League, he will surely have to start putting in performances at a higher level when offered the opportunity in a blue shirt.

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