Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has revealed that he wanted defender Kurt Zouma to learn his trade at Stamford Bridge in a bid to acclimatise to his long-term surroundings, Chelseafc.com report.
The French U21 international signed for the Blues during the 2014 January transfer window but spent the ensuing last six months of last season on loan at former club Saint Etienne.
This season, a similar loan move for Zouma could have been in store yet boss Mourinho opted against it, preferring the 20-year-old to familiarise himself in West London.
“We are impressed,” Mourinho told the club’s official website. “We bought a talent but that talent was far from ready and at the beginning of the season.”
“People were thinking it would be better for him to go somewhere [on loan] and play, but we thought It was better for him to stay and learn here in this habitat where for sure he will be a player for many years.”
“We are very happy with him.”
The decision not to loan Zouma out appears to be a good one attributable to his ability to provide excellent cover for regular centre-back duo Gary Cahill and John Terry.
The talented youngster has made a total of 11 appearances in all competitions for the Stamford Bridge outfit this season, contributing greatly to the club’s excellent run in the cups.
Zouma scored his first goal for the club in the League Cup third round victory over Bolton Wanderers, and has since gone on to play a major role in the club's run to the semi-final.