According to Mirror, Chelsea are open to offloading Kurt Zouma, if it helps them secure the services of Jules Kounde. The Premier League giants are in pressure to sign a top-quality player, with the Sevilla centre-back emerging as an ideal target.
However, Chelsea are not willing to meet Sevilla’s cash demands and have instead offered Zouma as a potential makeweight. There is a chance the Spanish outfit will accept the deal, especially with the Blues also expected to pay around £30 million.
Kurt Zouma’s Rollercoaster 12 Months At Chelsea
Kurt Zouma has endured a rollercoaster spell at Chelsea since returning to Stamford Bridge from his loan stint at Everton in 2019. He was one of the key components in Frank Lampard’s defensive unit, notably mustering 28 league appearances during the 2019/20 campaign.
Last season, the Frenchman continued to play a vital role at the heart of Chelsea’s backline under Lampard. However, the appointment of Thomas Tuchel turned out to be a detrimental prospect for the centre-back, whose role in the first-team greatly diminished under the German tactician.
Indeed, the Frenchman only made seven starts under Tuchel, who favoured the defensive partnership of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger. Zouma even fell behind Andreas Christensen in the pecking order, with his future at Stamford Bridge under question.
Zouma’s current contract in west London expires in 2023, but the club’s desire to offload him is hardly surprising as Tuchel does favour more technically-oriented centre-backs.
A Good Decision By Thomas Tuchel?
Chelsea are yet to sign a single defender this summer, which is surprising given that they already have two centre-backs who are in the final stage of their respective careers. Christensen, too, faces an uncertain future at the club, so the potential addition of Jules Kounde could serve as a major boon for them.
The Sevilla centre-back is regarded as one of the best defensive talents in Europe. He is quite athletic, which is combined with aggression and raw pace. However, what makes the youngster such a sought-after prospect is his ability in possession.
Kounde can march forward with the ball effortlessly, thus easing his team’s transition from the back. On that note, the Frenchman is definitely an upgrade over Zouma, whose one-dimensional defensive approach is perhaps not best fitted under Tuchel’s tactical philosophy.
The defensive combination between Kounde and the more robust Rudiger should offer more balance to the Chelsea backline, whereas the departure of Zouma can help them free up some space in the defensive unit, potentially allowing Tuchel to add further reinforcements this summer.
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