Hargreaves claims Chelsea star 'will not play many games going forward' after West Brom defeat
Owen Hargreaves believes Kurt Zouma’s disappointing performance in the 5-2 defeat to West Brom on Saturday will cost him his place at Chelsea.
The 26-year-old has already gone from a regular starter under Frank Lampard to being a rotation player under Thomas Tuchel.
The West Brom loss was his only third league appearance since the takeover and his sixth in all competitions.
Zouma was not solely to blame for the defeat, of course, but according to Hargreaves, the defender did not look comfortable playing in his new role under Tuchel.
The former Bayern Munich star even questioned Zouma’s future at Chelsea.
“I think for Chelsea and for Kurt Zouma, I’m not sure that it’s going to go well for him after what happened today,” the former England international told Premier League Productions after the game (via Optus Sport).
“First of all, I don’t think he’s the most comfortable with his left foot.
“So playing on the left side of the [back] three put a lot of pressure on him.
“We saw, I think it was [in the build-up to] the first goal, where he played a poor ball to Jorginho, the weight of it, that was where the goal came from.
“For Zouma, I don’t think he’s going to play many games going forward after today’s performance.”
The France international has never been a ball-playing centre-back in the first place and it might have been one of the reasons Tuchel prefers Antonio Rudiger.
However, Zouma is still one of the best physical and aerial defender at the club and could prove useful against certain opponents.
Marcos Alonso’s constantly being on the opposition half also did not really help Zouma escape the pressure on the left.
Although, it is also true that Tuchel might be reluctant to continue his chopping and changing, particularly at the back — and therefore, as Hargreaves predicted, might severely limit Zouma’s game time.