Kurt Zouma has expressed his admiration for John Terry and revealed what the Chelsea captain told him before his first match for the Blues against Bolton Wanderers in September 2014.
The 20-year-old is currently keeping Terry out of Chelsea’s starting line-up but insists he has the utmost respect for the Stamford Bridge hero, who helped him with some useful advice following his arrival from Saint-Etienne last year.
“John speaks to me a lot,” Zouma was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. “When I came here for the first time, before my first game, he spoke to me and said, ‘English football is not the same as in France. You need to be ready. It is more physical, you have to read situations because the strikers go in behind you more. When a striker drops back you have to follow.’ On the pitch, he speaks to me a lot as does Gary Cahill.
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“For me, John is a legend and he will always be that. I have a chance to play some games and improve a lot. There is no pressure for me to replace him but if I play, I have to show what I can give for the team. I want to show that Chelsea is where I want to be. I like the club and the people in it. I want to be one of the legends of the club but there is still a long way to go.”
Zouma also revealed he has always had a soft spot for Chelsea and, in particular, Terry - dating back to his gaming days.
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“When I was young, I used to learn on the Playstation as a beginner and always play as Chelsea,” the French defender added. “I used to play as John Terry! It is strange to have watched John on the TV and now be playing and training with him.”
Kurt Zouma was a bargain signing for Chelsea
Following an unconvincing start to the 2015-16 campaign, Terry has been taken out of Chelsea’s first-choice starting XI by Jose Mourinho.
Zouma has filled the void left by the club’s talismanic central defender - and done so with aplomb.
It was the France international who scored the opening goal against Arsenal last weekend, and Mourinho is expected to stick by the young defender for this weekend’s trip to Newcastle United.
In his pre-match press conference, Mourinho praised Zouma’s impressive mentality and described him as a “humble guy”.
He also stated that, although his best position is at centre-back, Zouma is also capable of playing in midfield and at left-back - making him an extremely useful asset for the Portuguese coach.
Chelsea only paid £12 million for Zouma - a fee that, less than two years later, is already looking a real bargain.
Chelsea fans: is Kurt Zouma now ready to be starting week-in, week-out at Stamford Bridge? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!