One of the most sought-after players at Chelsea this summer has been not one of the stars of the club’s Premier League title-run last season, but rather, Kurt Zouma. With Chelsea looking to loan him out, upwards of 20 clubs from England and abroad had enquired about the young Frenchman. The winner of that chase turns out to be Stoke City, where Zouma joined today on a season-long deal.
News of a new contract and a loan for @KurtZouma. Good luck, Kurt!https://t.co/7UxZpYe3bW— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 21, 2017
✍️ #SCFC are pleased to confirm the signing of @KurtZouma on a season-long loan from @premierleague Champions @ChelseaFC#WelcomeZouma ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/Y0zlU0Sa8d— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) July 21, 2017
As is customary, the young loanee has signed a new contract extension at Chelsea before hitting the road. What is not as customary, though, is the nature of the extension; Zouma is now contracted to Chelsea until 2023, which is a massive vote of confidence in the youngster.
The 22-year-old will be under the guidance of former Chelsea player Mark “Sparky” Hughes, who has not had much success in moving the club away from their "Pulis-ball" ways since taking the managerial helm at Britannia Stadium in 2013. Zouma's potential centre back colleague will be the ever-present Ryan Shawcross, who has hopefully sorted out his odor issues.
Kurt Zouma and Ryan Shawcross together? no tibia will remain unpunished— Graham MacAree (@MacAree) July 12, 2017
At his new club, Zouma will be looking to recover the form and promise that had him playing professional football at Saint-Étienne at just 16 years of age in 2011, ultimately leading to his switch to Chelsea in 2014.
Good luck, Zouma! And remember to wear a coat on those chilly Tuesday nights...