Kurt Zouma has started 7 of Chelsea's last 9 matches, the last two in midfield even, where he's never played before in his life. Above all else, that speaks to the level of trust Jose Mourinho has in the kid, even if the speed with which the Chelsea manager name-checked Marcel Desailly in comparison is probably a bit premature.
That being said, things have really progressed quite quickly for the 20-year-old: from a pre-season most memorable for positioning errors and misjudged aerial balls, to shutting down the likes of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, and Christian Eriksen five months later. We had always hoped that Zouma would be a long-term solution in defense, but he's made 15 starts already this season (plus 3 substitute appearances) and is pushing an experienced and proven winner like Gary Cahill for a starting position.
Many are surprised, some less so than others, at how quickly Zouma has improved. Even his own father.
"He was always one step ahead. He had prepared for this transfer. As soon as he signed in January 2014, Kurt wanted to go to London to find a house not too far from the training center. This he did and when he arrived this summer, everything was ready to welcome him."
"[...] the fact that he is a regular starter, I will not deny that it surprises me. It was not quite what was expected."
Of course, we shall have to see what Zouma's playing time will look like now that most of our midfield is back healthy and available and Gary Cahill has seemingly played himself back into form, too. Will he remain a regular starter? Will he play even less than at the start of the season, seeing as how we're now left without any easy minutes of minor cup games or easy Champions League games to hand out to non-starters? Will it be somewhere in-between?
Regardless of the specifics, the young center back's future (at Chelsea, I might add) looks bright.