Garth Crooks credits Chelsea FC defender Thiago Silva with improving Kurt Zouma

BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks says Thiago Silva has improved Kurt Zouma at Chelsea FC

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard (Photo: The Sport Review)

Garth Crooks believes Thiago Silva’s arrival at Chelsea FC has improved Kurt Zouma.

The Blues managed to win the race to sign the experienced 36-year-old centre-half on a free transfer following his release from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Thiago Silva has slotted into the Chelsea FC defence alongside Zouma to forge a promising partnership, supported by new Blues shot-stopper Edouard Mendy.

The France international is proving a force in the air from set pieces following a return of four goals in 10 games in the Premier League this term.

Chelsea FC have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 games in all competitions to find some defensive stability in the current campaign.

Zouma got on the scoresheet to net for the west London side in a 3-1 victory over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

BBC Sport pundit Crooks reckons Thiago Silva’s arrival has brought out the best in Zouma.

“He’s done it again,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Kurt Zouma loves popping up in the opposition penalty area on set-plays and getting on the scoresheet. I’m not sure who is better at it at the moment, Zouma or his senior partner Thiago Silva.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the arrival of the former Brazil captain has had an enormous effect on the confidence of Zouma in the same way Marcel Desailly had quite a telling impact on John Terry’s game during six years together at Stamford Bridge.

“If Zouma turns out to be anything like the defender Terry was for Chelsea then success is only just around the corner.”

Zouma moved to Chelsea FC in a £15m deal from Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne in 2014.

The French defender has spent time on loan at Stoke City and Everton after he failed to establish himself as a first-team regular in his first three seasons at the west London side.

However, Frank Lampard has made Zouma a first-team regular since taking over the reins from Maurizio Sarri in 2019.

Zouma has netted five goals in 59 games in all competitions since Lampard took charge.

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