Kurt Zouma

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Kurt Zouma
Chelsea 1 Everton 0 (15888380654).jpg
Zouma playing for Chelsea in 2015
Personal information
Full name Kurt Happy Zouma[1]
Date of birth (1994-10-27) 27 October 1994 (age 20)
Place of birth Lyon, France
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[2]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Chelsea
Number 5
Youth career
2003–2009 Vaulx-en-Velin
2009–2011 Saint-Étienne
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2014 Saint-Étienne 63 (4)
2014– Chelsea 19 (0)
National team
2010 France U16 6 (0)
2010–2011 France U17 17 (1)
2012 France U19 1 (0)
2013 France U20 9 (0)
2013– France U21 7 (1)
2015– France 1 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 August 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 March 2015

Kurt Happy Zouma (born 27 October 1994) is a French professional footballer who plays as a centre back for English club Chelsea.

He began his career at Saint-Étienne, making his professional debut aged 16. Zouma won the Coupe de la Ligue with the club in 2013, and joined Chelsea for £12 million in January 2014. Chelsea loaned him back to his first club for the remainder of the season, and in his first full campaign in England, Zouma helped Chelsea win the League Cup and the Premier League.

Zouma has represented France at youth levels, up to under-21. He made his senior international debut against Denmark on 29 March 2015.

Club career[edit]

Saint-Étienne[edit]

Born in Lyon, Zouma joined Saint-Étienne in 2009. On 2 April 2011, he signed his first professional contract, agreeing to a three-year deal.[3] He was, subsequently, promoted to the senior team by manager Christophe Galtier ahead of the 2011–12 season. Zouma made his professional debut on 31 August 2011 in a Coupe de la Ligue match against Bordeaux, playing the entire match in a 3–1 win.[4]

On 20 April 2013, Zouma played in Saint-Étienne's 1–0 win over Rennes in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue.[5]

On 7 November 2013, Zouma was banned for 10 games following a challenge that left Sochaux's Thomas Guerbert with a broken right leg and a dislocated ankle.[6]

Chelsea[edit]

On 31 January 2014, Zouma joined Chelsea on a five-and-a-half-year contract for a fee believed to be around £12 million (€14.6 million).[7] He remained at Saint-Étienne on loan for the remainder of the 2013–14 season.[7]

2014–15 season[edit]

Zouma holding a banner celebrating Chelsea reaching the 2015 Football League Cup Final

Zouma first appeared as a first-half substitute for Chelsea in a pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 friendly win against Slovene club Olimpija, on 27 July 2014.[8] He was given the number 5 shirt, previously worn by Michael Essien.[9]

On 24 September, Zouma made his first competitive appearance for Chelsea, scoring the opener in a 2–1 win against Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the League Cup.[10] Zouma made his second Chelsea start and first Champions League appearance on 21 October against Maribor, helping his side keep a clean sheet in a 6−0 win.[11] He made his Premier League debut as an added-time substitute for Willian in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on 26 October 2014.[12]

On 4 January 2015, Zouma scored the third goal for Chelsea in the 3–0 victory over Watford in the FA Cup.[13] Six days later he started in the Premier League for the first time, partnering John Terry in place of Gary Cahill and keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 home win over Newcastle United which put Chelsea back into first place.[14]

With Nemanja Matić suspended and John Obi Mikel injured, Zouma played in defensive midfield as Chelsea won the League Cup Final on 1 March, with a 2–0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.[15] On 3 May, he featured as a substitute for the final five minutes in place of Willian as Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1–0 to win the league title.[16]

2015–16 season[edit]

On 2 August 2015, Zouma was a 69th-minute substitute for César Azpilicueta as Chelsea lost 1–0 to rivals Arsenal in the Community Shield.[17]

International career[edit]

Zouma is a France youth international having represented his nation at under-16 and under-17 level. He played with the under-17 team at the 2011 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship and 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Zouma has been the captain for the French under-21 side.[18]

On 19 March 2015, he was given his first senior call-up by manager Didier Deschamps, for friendlies against Brazil and Denmark.[19] He made his debut in the latter match ten days later, a 2–0 win at his former club ground the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, replacing Morgan Schneiderlin for the last eight minutes of the game.[20]

Playing style[edit]

Zouma with Saint-Étienne in 2011

In January 2014, Zouma was named by British newspaper The Observer as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe. They wrote "Blessed with exceptional power and technique, Zouma is also coveted by many for his leadership qualities".[21]

Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy likened Zouma to Marcel Desailly, another Frenchman who played in defence for Chelsea. Writing after a draw with Manchester City, Murphy noted Zouma's reliability and confidence against the strong opponent, in addition to his pace. He predicted that Zouma could be a Chelsea mainstay for years to come, and would be an ideal replacement for John Terry, then aged 34.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Zouma's parents emigrated to France from the Central African Republic.[23] He has an older brother, Lionel, who is also a professional footballer. He plays in the same position, for Sochaux.[24]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 8 August 2015[25][26]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] League Cup[nb 2] Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Saint-Étienne 2011–12[25] Ligue 1 21 2 1 0 1 0 23 2
2012–13[25] 18 2 4 0 1 0 23 2
2013–14[25] 24 0 0 0 0 0 3[a] 0 27 0
Total 63 4 5 0 2 0 3 0 73 4
Chelsea 2014–15[25] Premier League 15 0 2 1 5 1 4[b] 0 26 2
2015–16 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1[c] 0 4 0
Total 18 0 2 1 5 1 4 0 1 0 30 2
Career total 81 4 7 1 7 1 7 0 1 0 103 6
  1. ^ All appearances in Europa League
  2. ^ All appearances in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ Appearance in FA Community Shield

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Saint-Étienne

Chelsea

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier League Clubs submit Squad Lists" (PDF). Premier League. 4 February 2014. p. 9. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Barclays Premier League Player Profile". web page. Premier League. 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Kurt Zouma signe pro à Saint-Etienne". Foot Transferts (in French). 2 April 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Saint-Étienne v. Bordeaux Match Report". Ligue de Football Professionnel (in French). 31 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "AS Saint-Etienne 1-0 Stade Rennais FC". Ligue 1. 
  6. ^ Devine, Chris (7 November 2013). "Zouma given 10-match ban following horror tackle". Goal.com. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Transfer Deadline Day: Kurt Zouma joins Chelsea for £12m". BBC Sport. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Match report: NK Olimpija Ljubljana 1 Chelsea 2". Chelsea.com. 27 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Squad number changes". Chelsea F.C. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Chelsea 2-1 Bolton". BBC Sport. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Didier Drogba scored his first goal since rejoining Chelsea as they recorded their biggest-ever Champions League win with a dominant victory against Maribor at Stamford Bridge.". BBC Sport. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 26 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Chelsea 3-0 Watford". BBC Sport. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Reddy, Luke (10 January 2015). "Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  15. ^ McNulty, Phil (1 March 2015). "Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  16. ^ McNulty, Phil (3 May 2015). "Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Cryer, Andy (2 August 2015). "Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Zouma strike makes it a perfect six for France". UEFA. 4 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Holyman, Ian (19 March 2015). "Nabil Fekir and Kurt Zouma named in France squad for friendlies". ESPN. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "France 2-0 Denmark: Lacazette and Giroud on target". Goal.com. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "The next 10 big things: Europe's top youngsters and stars of the future". The Observer. 18 January 2014. 
  22. ^ Murphy, Danny (1 February 2015). "Chelsea 1-1 Man City: 'Kurt Zouma reminds me of Marcel Desailly'". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "France: Kurt Zouma parle de la paix en Centrafrique" [France: Kurt Zouma speaks of peace in the Central African Republic]. Journal de Bangui (in French). 8 October 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Les retrouvailles des " jumeaux " Zouma" [The reunion of the Zouma "twins"]. Le Parisien (in French). 23 March 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c d e "K. ZOUMA". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Kurt Zouma Premier League Player Profile". Premier League official website. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes the FA Cup, and the Coupe de France matches
  2. ^ Includes the Football League Cup and Coupe de la Ligue matches

External links[edit]