The Premier League has been a place for youngsters to flourish so far this season.
While last year the breakout player was arguably Manchester United’s Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj, this year has seen a forward impressing throughout.
That man is Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who has arguably been the story of the season, continuing to score goals and impress fans and pundits alike, with England manager Roy Hodgson all but confirming he will be in the next international squad.
At the other end of the pitch, two young defenders have also impressed for separate clubs. John Stones arguably had his breakout season at Everton last year as Roberto Martinez’s men came extremely close to qualifying for the Champions League but he has returned from injury to become pivotal in his side’s upturn in form.
Meanwhile, Kurt Zouma has impressed at Chelsea as they look to win the Premier League title once again. The young French defender has only featured six times for Jose Mourinho’s men this season, but has excited every time, with BBC Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy saying he reminds him of legendary defender Marcel Desailly.
Which of the young defenders has been the most impressive this season though? We decided to compare the duo and see who comes out on top.
First and foremost, given that Zouma has played five fewer games than Stones this season, it would be unfair to compare them on statistics alone. Therefore, we will cover their per game stats instead, which should make things a bit fairer.
In that regard, the Everton youngster stands out above his French rival. Stones currently leads in the duels won category, and the effective clearance category as well. He also has a higher rate of effective headed clearances, while his accurate passes per game is far superior to that of Zouma.
Elsewhere, the duo are close on their number of tackles, while their aerial duels won per game is also close, although Stones has one block per game compared to Zouma’s none.
As always, statistics can be misleading, and given that Chelsea have proven more defensively solid than Everton this season, that could explain why Stones has higher stats than Zouma so far. Regardless though, so far they suggest that the England defender is ahead of Chelsea’s man this season, which can only be good news for his club and international side.