Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho could spring a surprise by using Kurt Zouma as a full-back, in place of the injured Branislav Ivanovic, against Aston Villa on Saturday.
This is according to the Guardian, who understand that Mourinho may opt against handing £17 million summer signing Abdul Baba Rahman his first Premier League appearance.
Mourinho has the option of deploying Baba Rahman at left-back and moving Cesar Azpilicueta to the right full-back position, but the Chelsea boss is concerned that the Ghana international is still not ready for life in England’s top flight after arriving at Stamford Bridge late in the summer transfer window.
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Subsequently, it seems there’s a chance that Zouma - a centre-back by trade - will slot in at right-back against fellow strugglers Aston Villa this weekend.
The Frenchman was an unused substitute in the 3-1 defeat to Southampton before the international break - following his struggles in the games against Newcastle United and FC Porto - but may be given an opportunity to make amends about Tim Sherwood’s men, albeit in an relatively unfamiliar position.
Chelsea must beat Aston Villa
Chelsea’s official website states that Zouma can also play as a right-back - but fans would probably be more comfortable seeing a more traditional full-back take the place of Ivanovic this weekend, given the team’s current plight.
Anything less than three points for Chelsea this weekend and Mourinho, who has already been issued with one vote of confidence this month, will find himself under significant pressure to save his job.
Fortunately, though, the recent form of Ivanovic means Chelsea shouldn’t miss the Serbian defender too much.
Caution: NSFW language...
Ivanovic has been arguably the Blues’ worst performer this season, and a spell on the sidelines could be precisely what he requires to get himself focused for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign.
Chelsea fans: should Jose Mourinho play Kurt Zouma or Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back against Aston Villa this weekend? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!