Kurt Zouma has spoken on his early career as a footballer.
A massive physical presence, the 20-year-old looks remarkably composed in the Blues back-line, and he has shown all the promise that could see him become the long-term replacement for club captain John Terry. He looks good on the ball, and can read the game well, and many have been calling for him to replace Gary Cahill in the starting XI, with the Englishman enduring something of a rough patch of form at the current moment in time.
He has also netted twice for his new club, and has utilised his big size in the opposition penalty area to become a large threat from set pieces.
However, it hasn’t always been like this for Zouma, and he revealed that his youth was spent focused upon scoring goals, rather than preventing them.
Speaking to the official Chelsea website, the French Under-21 international spoke of his early career as a footballer, and revealed that he used to be an attacking player, rather than a defender, due to his average size.
“When I started football at nine, I played right winger and also then striker,” he said. “Since then, for 10 years, I have played defender. I was average height and then in one year I grew 17 centimetres. I became very tall suddenly and at first it was difficult, but after that I improved to be quick despite my tall size. I worked very hard.”
It is surprising to think that a young defender who is so talented was not playing in that position for his entire career, but maybe Zouma has benefited from playing as a striker in his youth. Rather than reading the game like a defender, the youngster is always thinking about what he would do as a forward, allowing him to prepare for whatever the opposition may throw at him.