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Does Zouma's new squad number mean he's staying?

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Valery Hache / Getty Images

As you may have noticed, Kurt Zouma has managed to swipe Filipe Luis' squad number before our new left back had even played a pre-season match with the club. Zouma will be wearing no. 5, which better suits a centre back anyway, leaving Filipe Luis with the no. 3 kit. But we already wrote a post about that switch -- this one is about what it means, and what it means specifically for Kurt Zouma.

Although squad numbers mean less and less these days, it's still very clear that there are 'core' numbers and then everyone else. Zouma being given a core number -- 5 was last worn by Michael Essien -- is yet another indication that he'll be in the first team for next season. Alone, it's not much to lean on, but when you consider the fact that Tomas Kalas and Kenneth Omeruo are already on loan and that without Zouma Chelsea have three centre halves available to the first team squad ...

... well I think it's safe to say that he was probably already staying, and this assignment makes it even more likely. Now watch us go and buy Raphael Varane or something, just to make me look silly. I love looking silly, Chelsea!