Everton, spearheaded by manager Marco Silva, have been quite keen and vocal about getting Kurt Zouma back for at least another season, but their hopes of another loan (let alone a permanent transfer) have been slowly eroding. Frank Lampard’s stated desire this weekend to keep the 24-year-old centre back with Chelsea for this upcoming season may have been the final blow.
Or at least the penultimate blow. With three weeks to go until the start of the season, Silva wants to try one more time before moving on to other targets.
“It is not an easy situation, we are working on the other solutions because we cannot wait until the last week or the last day to take one player.”
“We will see in the next days and next week to see if it will be possible [to bring back Zouma] or not, if not we have to go to the other solutions I have in my mind.”
Zouma was a key player for Everton last season, and he clearly enjoyed his time there. When he joined, he only had eyes for Chelsea; by the time he left, his intentions were a lot more muddled, echoing the Lukaku situation from 2014.
One key difference between now and then is of course the transfer ban, which has prevented any chance of a “Whoa! What’s happening here?” scenario. In fact, Zouma is effectively the only new arrival at center back, and should slot in easily for the departing Gary Cahill. With Antonio Rudiger set to miss at least the first month of the season while recovering from meniscus surgery, Zouma could even start from day one.
Hopefully that will be enough to convince him to stay, giving Lampard four options at center back with David Luiz, Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Zouma (or Tomori if the latter leaves?).