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Kurt Zouma withdraws from France U21 squad due to injury

Julian Finney/Getty Images

The international break has hardly even begun, and we've already had our first injury.  Kurt Zouma has been forced to withdraw from the French U21 national team due to an unspecified injury.

Obviously, we can only hope it's just something very minor and this is all just a bit of precaution.  Despite being so young, Zouma has already become an indispensable member of the Chelsea backline, whether deployed as a center back, a midfield destroyer, or even as an emergency outside back.  The 21-year-old has hardly been perfect of course (he is just 21, after all), but with the more veteran members of the squad struggling rather mightily at times, he's been a welcome breath of fresh air and hope for the future as he matures into a world class defender.

Meanwhile, England U19 defender Jake Clarke-Salter, who's been a part of our post-season and pre-season tours last summer, has had to withdraw from the national team due to a knee injury.  In more positive injury news, Ola Aina has been added to the England U21 squad as another injury replacement, giving Chelsea a whopping 5 representatives in the squad.  (How about them apples, Paul Scholes?)

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