Kurt Zouma has forced Jose Mourinho's hand with Chelsea selection

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With a slew of excellent performances Kurt Zouma is forcing Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to include him in his starting XI.

The young French central defender has made only eight league appearances this season for the Blues, but in each of those appearances Zouma has grown increasingly more important in Mourinho's game plan. 

The issue for the Portuguese tactician is simple; if he plays the former Saint-Etienne player then he must remove another of his defensive starters. So who makes way?

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Cahill and Luis in Trouble

Getting the boot so far has been England international Gary Cahill and Brazilian Filipe Luis. The former Bolton Wanderers player has been a good partner for captain John Terry in the heart of defence since his move to Chelsea. 

However, a few key mistakes have cost Cahill his starting place in Mourinho's line-up. Luis, on the other hand, has never been able to assert himself since coming over from Atletico Madrid and seems to have fallen down Mourinho's defensive pecking order behind both Cahill and Zouma. 

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With Cahill needing to atone for his mistakes and Luis not fitting in, the Portuguese manager turned to Zouma. And It seems that the Frenchman has been dreaming of such an opportunity. 

According to Squawka in his eight appearances in the Premier League this season 20-year-old Zouma has averaged five defensive actions and won 67 per cent of his duels. His actions have been of such quality that Chelsea Index has likened him to fellow Frenchman and Chelsea legend Marcel Desailly

Perfect Attributes

Like Desailly, Zouma commands the defence with his authority, strength and athleticism. For a big lad, standing at 6'3" Zouma is surprisingly fleet-footed. These qualities, as well as being a natural leader are exactly why Chelsea spent a reported £12.4 million to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

Terry Extension

With the recent announcement of contract extension talks between Terry and the club, a spotlight has been shone on Chelsea's defensive ranks. Retaining the skipper means there is one less space, and with Zouma in fine form you can't ignore the Frenchman if he demands more playing time next season.

Could Cahill or Luis make way for such an accommodation? Last January's transfer dealings which sent Andre Schürrle and Mohamed Salah to Wolfsburg and Fiorentina respectively should keep both squad members on high alert. 

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Premier League
Kurt Zouma
Jose Mourinho

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