Phil Neville: Kurt Zouma is being trusted to play Chelsea’s big games

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The young French centre-half featured for the Blues against Manchester City yesterday, with his pace a key attribute.

Jose Mourinho opted to field French youngster Kurt Zouma in his starting XI to face title rivals Manchester City yesterday, with Gary Cahill being demoted to a role on the peripheries.

The former Saint Etienne man put in an accomplished display in the 1-1 draw and looks like a player that could well possess the attributes to replace John Terry in the Blues’ line-up in the long run.

However, Phil Neville has stated that Zouma’s virtues are actually an ideal accompaniment to the Chelsea veteran Terry, with the youngster’s pace a key reason why he was being selected in big games.

“Kurt Zouma looks like a player Jose Mourinho will trust in big games,” Neville wrote in The Daily Mail today.

“He’s only 20 years old but he’s picked him against Liverpool and Manchester City, when they were facing quick attackers in Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

“Mourinho obviously feels he needs that extra pace alongside John Terry and in those two you have a perfect mix: the big strong organiser alongside the quicker, sharper man. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were exactly that and it’s a classic defensive partnership.”

Zouma has only started two Premier League games this season but is now threatening to break up the longstanding Cahill-Terry partnership with his athletic displays.

Danny Murphy stated that the Frenchman reminded him of Marcel Desailly in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw, with the Blues looking like they have a potential world-beater at their disposal for years to come.

Zouma has been a feature in the France under-21 set-up for a number of years and will clearly relish the opportunity to develop in the Premier League.

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