Kurt Zouma’s Time At Chelsea Coming To An End? And His Special Relationship With Jose Mourinho

According to Téléfoot Kurt Zouma is expected to leave Chelsea this summer. Wolves, Tottenham, his former club Everton and Roma are all interested in signing the Frenchman. No potential fee has been reported by any trusted sources but we can expect Chelsea to demand quite a large sum of money for the 26-year-old. Zouma’s age means by typical standards he is just entering his prime which increases his stock quite a fair bit. His contract also lands Chelsea in a great place in terms of demanding a higher fee as his current deal is signed until 2023.

Kurt ‘Happy’ Zouma arrived at Chelsea from Saint-Étienne for a fee of around £13m. However, this fee was quickly justified with loan spells to Stoke and Everton which come with fees adding up to around £14m. Frank Lampard utilised Zouma especially well in his back four approach where he become a great goal threat from set pieces. Unfortunately Zouma has found it hard to find a regular starting spot under Thomas Tuchel. Kurt has been able to step in whenever injury occurs to Tuchel’s favoured back three and this is a testament to his skill and ability as he has been able to perform at the highest level without a lot of minutes to his name.

Zouma has reportedly declined Wolves approach and that leaves possible moves to Everton, Tottenham and Roma still on the table.

Everton have been interested in Zouma ever since his 2018/19 loan spell at Goodison Park. Zouma featured in 32 Premier League games for The Toffees and has been liked by the club ever since. The opportunity for Everton to snatch up the centre back has now arrived and Everton are definitely interested. No official bid has been recieved yet from Chelsea but due to their previous knowledge of Zouma’s ability we can assume Everton will be ready to splash the cash. A partnership with Ben Godfrey and Zouma is a top class defensive pairing that would cause any striker in the world a few problems and could be the answer to Everton’s defence that conceded 48 goals last season.

Nuno Espírito Santo’s arrival at Spurs has come with a lot of noise around potential strengthening of their defence. Tottenham have been linked with Maxence Lacroix, Takehiro Tomiyasu and now Kurt Zouma this summer and it seems apparent that Nuno will be backed leading into the upcoming season. As Chelsea fans we would like to assume that Zouma would not transfer to North London and to a direct rival of Chelsea’s.

Roma are also in the mix for a Kurt Zouma deal, with their approach seemingly centered around a Gianluca Mancini swap deal. Marina Granovskia is reportedly a big fan of the £27m rated defender and is hoping to pounce upon Roma’s financial troubles by bringing the 25-year-old in. The express has also reported Jose Mourinho’s stance on Chelsea potentially making a move for Mancini by saying “Jose Mourinho will request Kurt Zouma + £10m” for the Italian.

Another report surrounding Zouma is from RMC Sport who say that Roma want Zouma on a loan with an option to buy, but Chelsea have absolutely no intention of loaning him out. This same source claims that Chelsea want €30m (£25.6m) outright for Zouma. Italian clubs and asking for loans before a permanent deal is a tale as old as time and was also present in the Fikayo Tomori deal.

Mourinho has been a long time admirer of Zouma since 2014. Zouma was played in numerous positions in the 14/15 and 15/16 campaigns, including centre back, right back and defensive midfield. Mourinho brought 19-year-old Zouma to West London and didn’t hold back in his criticism of the promising youngster.

Zouma benefiited massively from Mourinho calling him “rubbish” in a private chat after a 3-1 defeat. Many youngsters complain about being used incorrectly by Mourinho and complain about his brash and brutally honest approach to trying to win, however Zouma refused to fall into this category.

In 2015, Zouma called Mourinho “the best coach in the world”. Mourinho’s high expectations for such a young man trying to adapt to the ways of English football propelled Zouma into the player he is today.

Kurt Zouma featured in 49 games in 2 seasons under the tutelage of the ‘Special One’. The trust Mourinho put in Zouma was exemplified when he was utilised as a defensive midfielder in a League Cup final against Spurs in 2015. Zouma even managed to register an assist in this game, leading Chelsea to their first trophy of the season.

Many people may remember John Terry and Kurt Zouma’s partnership throughout the 15/16 season and although it was Chelsea’s worst season in a long while, it showed the beginning of a great defender only just entering his 20’s.

After the transfer ban scandal when Frank Lampard and the club were scrambling about to find a defensive solution, Mourinho chimed in on the debate and spoke well of Kurt Zouma. “I just give an example: Chelsea needs a centre-back – Kurt Zouma! You don’t need to buy, you don’t need to spend. Zouma!”

Zouma going to Serie A would follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Fikayo Tomori and would immerse the Frenchman into a defence orientated league. Zouma is just entering his prime as a defender and Serie A + Mourinho would only help to enhance his defensive capabilities.

Zouma has found himself out of favour towards the ending of the 20/21 season, but the selling of Zouma would be very saddening to many Chelsea fans that have seen him grow as a young teenager into a top centre half.

The biggest catalyst to Zouma leaving Chelsea is not apparent yet but a deal could be on the cards if Chelsea formally approach Roma for Gianluca Mancini.

Written by Frankie

The Importance Of ‘Untouchable’ Players At Chelsea FC

When you look at the Chelsea team of 2021, there is a very short list of players who are deemed as ‘Untouchables’ and have earned the right to start every single week. ‘Untouchables’ is a term seemingly coined by Jose Mourinho to describe players who are consistent and are permanently on the team sheet despite the opposition. In 2006, Mourinho listed his Chelsea Untouchables as Essien, Makelele, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and Petr Cech. The names listed by Mourinho have a common theme. Every single player listed was willing to fight for the badge, possessed leadership qualities and knew their role to perfection.

Mourinho is a manager who needs players he trusts and especially during his time at Chelsea and Manchester United, he was not worried about criticising underperforming players and shaming them publicly. In this sense, Thomas Tuchel is the polar opposite of Jose Mourinho. It is very clear that Tuchel sees team cohesion and morale as key parts of a title winning side, which explains his recurring theme of never blaming defeats solely on one player. Despite this, a solid ‘spine’ is what many feel is lacking within this Chelsea team as of this moment and to achieve the task of implementing this spine into the Chelsea starting eleven, Tuchel would need to reserve spaces in the team for his most trusted players. This would undoubtedly upset some fringe members of the squad, which on the positive side could possibly bring about a much needed clearance of dead wood.

The only ‘Untouchables’ present in Tuchel’s Chelsea squad are Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount. This is worrying for a number of reasons, the lack of permanent starters present in the squad causes a lot of tinkering to be done from game to game. Tuchel is notorious for his changing of formation and personnel depending on the opposition, but in the Premier League there has to be some familiarity within the starting eleven.

Mendy is a suitable option for the calibre of goalkeeper needed to challenge for titles and his winning mentality and class has been shown countless times this season. Azpilicueta is still a top right back on his day and one of the most consistent full backs in recent Premier League history, however his decreasing pace is a worrying sign and his performances have somewhat become inconsistent throughout the past season. Tuchel has made it clear several times that he feels the captain of the club should be a regular starter within the team, something Frank Lampard disagreed with. Mason Mount in his breakout year has fought for the badge when others wouldn’t and backed up his performances with an increase in goals and assists. Mason has also shown up in some of our biggest games this season, scoring a fantastic goal against Liverpool in a 1-0 win at Anfield and also securing Chelsea’s place in a Champions League final with a goal against Real Madrid. Showing up in big games is essential to be regarded as an ‘Untouchable’ for Chelsea FC and the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard lived for the big occasions.

The likes of Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount unfortunately dwindle in comparison to the ‘Untouchables’ of 2006 but players of that nature are hard to come by these days. Players with bundles of skill and flair that are able to compete in the Premier League are easy to come by, but players willing to fight for the badge week in, week out and players that can perform on the biggest stage frequently are a rare breed in todays market.

Looking at the 2006/07 season of the Premier League, Lampard featured in 37 games, John Terry featured in 28 games, Carvalho featured in 31 games and Drogba featured in 36 games. A poor run of form at the end of the season prevented Chelsea from lifting the Premier League trophy for a third consecutive year. However, it is clear to see that a team with permanent starters brings familiarity and solidarity to everyone else on the pitch. Patterns of play become natural and consistency becomes effortless, every player on the pitch knows their roles and this helps to secure the defence, midfield and attack. Permanent starters set the foundations for the whole team to succeed. Reliable players doing reliable jobs to set the whole team up for success. Of course, every player listed as an ‘Untouchable’ by Jose was exceptional but these permanent starters do not have to be phenomenal footballers to become an ‘Untouchable’.

In an era where the highly sought after signings cost upwards of £50m and fans only want the best of the best to join their clubs, it is often tough to identify how a winning team with a winning mentality is established. Apart from the odd occasion in football history, not many exceptional teams are filled with eleven exceptional players. Using our Champions League final starting eleven from 2012, we can easily see that some of the players involved on that day were nowhere near world class. Bosingwa and Mikel both started the Champions League final in Munich and had been main stays in the team for the duration of the competition. Mikel played in 9 games and Bosingwa played in 11 throughout the 2011/12 campiagn. Neither of these two players were regarded as world class for their positions and sometimes you don’t have to be to succeed. There is no doubt that Bosingwa and Mikel provided much needed experience and calmness to players like Ryan Bertrand, who was featuring in his first ever European game for the Blues.

This summer will be pivotal in Tuchel deciding his ‘Untouchables’ during his reign at Stamford Bridge. As with every transfer window looming, Chelsea have obviously been linked with anyone and everyone. Transfers at this point for Chelsea FC are impossible to predict and there is still so much to play for this season but there is some big decisions for Thomas Tuchel to make throughout pre-season and the beckoning summer transfer window. Establishing his set of ‘Untouchables’ , in my eyes signifies that Tuchel accepts the fact that permanent starters are essential to a Premier League winning side and evidently showcases his ever-growing intention to win trophies at Chelsea.

Written by Frankie

Podcast: Chatting to Adam Newson about Tuchel, Spurs, the U23’s & more!

A pleasure speaking to Adam Newson!

In another episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Orlando (Host – @0rland1nho) and Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) were joined by special guest Adam Newson (@AdamNewson) who talks about getting into Journalism and working for Football.London, his reaction to Lampard’s sacking and Tuchel’s appointment, Billy Gilmour, the upcoming game against Spurs and Hudson-Odoi at RWB, the 23’s game against Arsenal on Friday including a return for Dujon Sterling and so much more!

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Podcast: Ruben Sammut – Chatting to a Chelsea Academy Graduate!

Is this our biggest interview yet?

In another episode of The Chelsea Spot podcast, Orlando (Host – @0rland1nho) had the very fortunate opportunity to talk to former Chelsea player Ruben Sammut. where they discussed for just under an hour a whole range of topics, including training against Eden Hazard and under different managers like Sarri, Conte and Mourinho, the lack of intensity in the first team training compared to the academy, the 5 trophies he won during his time here, playing with the likes of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham and a lot more!

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