Considering the magnitude of Chelsea’s debacle this season, it takes thorough scavenging to identify any positives at Stamford Bridge. However, one of these few highs has undoubtedly been the rise and progress of Kurt Zouma.
Despite being just 21-years-old, the Frenchman has already established himself as a formidable defensive juggernaut in the Premier League.
Amidst the jaded form of John Terry and the criminal marking of Gary Cahill, Zouma has managed to shine amongst a ravaged defence.
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As a result, it appears the youngster will play a prominent role in the future of Chelsea Football Club and the Blues should begin moulding their future outfit around the Frenchman.
On current form, he looks set to be the club’s next Terry.
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Physicality plays a prominent role in Zouma’s game, athletically able to match the plethora of brutish strikers in Europe.
Granted, the youngster is far from the finished article, but he's one of few seen fighting to the bitter end during a season crying out for passion and determination.
Subsequently, it's easy to draw comparisons to Terry. With the English defender likely to depart the club in the summer, Zouma appears the perfect man to take the reins as Chelsea’s swashbuckling defensive leader.
The sales of Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard in recent years show Chelsea are slowing shepherding the club’s veterans out of Stamford Bridge.
Moreover, with the Blues’ squad faltering so spectacularly this season, it’s no secret that an injection of youth is exactly what the club needs.
This season's struggles have proved the wake-up call that the Blues need to transition away from the 2014/15 title winning side to a fresh outfit, similarly to how Sir Alex Ferguson did so at Manchester United on numerous occasions.
Chelsea need a blend of the old with a sprinkling of the fresh - and Zouma should be the focal point of this increasingly necessary combination.
There can be no better way to begin a revolution than through an established and talented youngster such as Zouma. No excuses can be mustered about the risks of deploying such young players when the Frenchman typifies how age can prove so irrelevant.
Terry may have won the Champions League and four Premier League titles with the Blues and Zouma may have made errors this season, but the fact of the matter is, the Frenchman has completely outshone his skipper this term.
With Chelsea struggling they must look towards the future. The old guard are on the way out and the club must turn towards the players who can form the backbone of future campaigns.
At just 21, with vast Premier League experience and a warrior-like passion for the jersey he so proudly dons, there’s no one better suited than Zouma.
If the Blues start sculpting their squad around the battling Frenchman, the future could look very bright for the Stamford Bridge side; if the club persists with the dysfunctional collage of players that currently sport their team sheet, however, it will come as little surprise if the turmoil rolls on.
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