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Official: West Ham sign Kurt Zouma from Chelsea

Farewell, Happy!

Chelsea FC v Porto - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Leg Two Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Kurt Zouma’s seven-year Chelsea career has drawn to a close today, as the man with the most fitting middle name, Happy has officially taken La Zoumance to cross-town rivals West Ham United in a £25m (€30m) transfer (later reported as £30m, even).

Zouma has signed a four-year deal with the Hammers and will be a key part of their ambitions going forward. They’re off to a fantastic start this season in fact, amongst the early leaders of the Premier League.

One does wonder what Zouma’s Chelsea career might have looked like had he not suffered a devastating ACL injury in early 2016. He had been a rising star the previous two seasons, arriving as just a teenager still from Saint-Étienne at José Mourinho’s behest, and featuring over 50 times before landing ever so awkwardly from one of those ridiculously high leaps of his.

Rehab and loan spells at Stoke City and Everton followed, before Frank Lampard brought him back into the fold. He’d feature a career high 43 times in 2019-20 and would follow that up with a career high 5 goals scored last season. But he had gradually become just a backup option, and surplus to requirements in the impending rebuild and reshuffle at the center back position.

Zouma leaves with 151 appearances for Chelsea, 10 goals, 5 trophies, and countless smiles, laughs, and memes.

“Kurt Zouma joined us as a young player and has been a part of so many important moments for this club over the past seven-and-a-half years.

“He showed incredible strength of character to return from a very serious injury in 2016, and he has always been an extremely popular character in the dressing room. We thank him for his contribution on and off the pitch for Chelsea, and wish him the very best in the next stage of his career.”

-Marina Granovskaia; source: Chelsea FC

Farewell, Kurt! West Ham are lucky to have you.