BBC Sport pundit gives verdict on Kurt Zouma at Chelsea FC

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks says Kurt Zouma has benefited form loan spells away from Chelsea FC

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard (Photo: The Sport Review)

Chelsea FC are reaping the benefits of Kurt Zouma’s loan spells at Everton and Stoke City, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.

The France international has established himself as a regular in the Chelsea FC team over the past two seasons despite his lack of game time at the west London side in previous campaigns under Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri.

Zouma spent successive seasons on loan at Stoke City and Everton where he featured regularly for both clubs to get regular first-team minutes under his belt ahead of his return to Chelsea FC following Frank Lampard’s appointment.

The 26-year-old has already scored three times in six games in the Premier League this season, providing a genuine threat from set pieces for Lampard’s side.

Zouma has also helped Chelsea FC to keep four successive clean sheets against Sevilla, Manchester United, FC Krasnodar and Burnley.

While Crooks doesn’t believe Zouma has quite fulfilled his original billing as the next Marcel Desailly, the BBC Sport pundit reckons the French defender has improved thanks to his loan spells at Everton and Stoke City.

“His third goal of the season came from another towering header – Kurt Zouma is starting to develop a taste for scoring from set-plays,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“He’s already scored against Brighton and Crystal Palace this season and his headed goal against a poor-looking Burnley was a beauty.

“Regular readers will know I have been rather ambivalent about Zouma over the years. When I saw him make his debut for Chelsea, I said he could be another Marcel Desailly.

“I’m no longer sure about that but there is no doubt that loan spells at Stoke and Everton have clearly benefited the defender. Will he win titles with Chelsea like Desailly? Well, I’m not sure about that either.”

Chelsea FC signed Zouma in a £12m deal from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne in the 2014 summer transfer window.

Zouma has netted four times in 81 games in the Premier League over the past six seasons at the west London side.

The French defender has won two Premier League titles and the League Cup during his spell at Chelsea FC.

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