There are four players in the Chelsea squad who have played in every single Chelsea match so far: Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Cesar Azpilicueta ... and Kurt Zouma! He's our most used center back in the league (Gary Cahill does lead in total minutes in all competitions thanks to the Community Shield) and after getting plenty of goals from set pieces from our big defenders, Kurt Zouma finally put that group on the board this season with his header against Arsenal. In fact, Azpilicueta (he of five career goals in 330+ appearances) had been the only other defender to contribute with a goal prior to that.
After the Arsenal game, Zouma stopped for a chat with Chelsea TV and reflected on the massive 2-0 win. That video is worth a watch just to hear his amazingly deep voice. The video at the top is worth a watch simply because Zouma is fun to watch.
"It was an amazing feeling, because when you play the big derby you're always excited and for me it was an amazing game because I scored for the team and the team did very well, like we did on Wednesday, so we are very happy. I am very happy with the goal, with the win and with the clean sheet as well. I'm very happy and proud because that was the first win at home in the Premier League this season, that's the most important thing for me, and the first goal is really important. I'm really happy because we worked hard for that and I think we deserved it."
"It's very important for us because this kind of game will give us more confidence now and we showed that Chelsea are still there and we are a very strong team. Now we have to just keep going and improve that."
"Together we have to stay concentrated and keep improving. We have to work hard every day in training. We are very happy because we won two games and kept two clean sheets but we know there is still a long way to go, the year is really long, so we have to keep working. [...] We have good defenders - I can play, John Terry can play, Gaz did well as well. So now we just have to recover our defensive organisation from last year. It doesn't matter who plays, we have to just keep going and keep clean sheets."
-Kurt Zouma; source: Chelsea FC
Zouma is still very young and is still a raw player of course, and we probably shouldn't expect him to continue to gobble up minutes at this pace the rest of the way. Or should we? John Terry's role most certainly seems to be heading towards a more reduced one, while Papy Djilobodji remains an enigma and a bit of a joke. Zouma and Cahill looks to be our first-choice pairing right now, especially when we want to play a high line against speedy forwards.
Either way, Zouma looks set for a nice, long, successful Chelsea career. And there are not many 20-year-olds we can say that about!