'Unreal': Some Chelsea fans impressed by £12m man who had 71 touches vs Everton
Kurt Zouma’s return to Premier League action was met by a warm reception from Chelsea fans after last night’s 2-0 victory over Everton.
The towering Frenchman was making just his second Premier League start under Thomas Tuchel in what was his 11th game in charge.
Zouma’s repaid his manager’s faith by putting on a solid performance against an admittedly average Everton outfit.
It was a happy Stamford Bridge homecoming for the £12m (BBC Sport) defender, which was met by a Chelsea fanfare.
Many opposition defences have struggled to handle Everton’s forward duo of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
Not Zouma. The 26-year-old man-handled the pair and made sure neither of the Toffees’ sweet strikers got their jaws into the game.
Although not overly troubled, his statistics suggested a very steady evening all round for Chelsea’s centre-back.
WhoScored.com had Zouma down for 71 touches, three aerial duels won, a 93.4% passing accuracy and two interceptions.
Tuchel now has a difficult decision on his hands over who should feature in the Blues back three.
The ever-reliant Antonio Rudiger sat out for Zouma yesterday, but looks a dead cert to be drafted back in for the big games.
Thiago Silva’s recovery from injury means another option, yet Andreas Christensen’s impressive form is currently keeping him out of the team.
Whichever combination is selected, Tuchel now knows he can deal a strong defensive hand whenever Chelsea play.
The Chelsea Chronicle View
I’m really happy for Zouma and I hope he sees more game time in the coming months.
With reports continuing to surface about Chelsea wanting a new centre-back, it’s possible on of the current roster will be shipped out over summer.
This means from now until the end of the season is a trial for Zouma and his teammates.