Kurt Zouma has proved he deserves a place in Chelsea's starting XI

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Kurt Zouma has begun to make a name for himself at Chelsea. With Gary Cahill's form dipping and John Terry ageing, the France U21 international has found chances to make an impression on the Chelsea starting XI.

Despite only making 14 appearances this season, Zouma has shown he is perfectly capable of being a solid defender for the Blues.

The first thing noticeable about Zouma is his physique. A large and hulking mass, Zouma has also shown his pace. In recent matches against Liverpool and Manchester City, Zouma was able to make up for technical errors by using his body effectively.

His massive header at the end of the game versus Manchester City was an example of how he can really use his physicality. Zouma's pace makes him a good foil for John Terry as the ageing captain has shown signs of slowing down.

In contrast, Cahill is slower to react and allows forwards and midfielders to run towards his own box. A perfect example of this is when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was allowed time to run toward's Chelsea's goal and fire a low shot into the goal, with Cahill allowing him to move forward and hoping to make a block instead of a tackle.

Zouma's calmness and composure has also been a relief to a weakened Chelsea back line. Despite only being 20, the young Frenchman has shown his relative calmness and ability to think while in possession.

He doesn't make probing runs forward, like the former Chelsea player David Luiz, and he doesn't feel the need to make rash and extreme decisions. If he does make a mistake, Zouma has shown that he is more than capable of mopping it up, as seen versus Raheem Sterling and Liverpool. 

Zouma's potential and skill set seem to merit the youngster a try at breaking into the starting XI at Chelsea. With impressive recent performances against top clubs, Zouma has shown his proficiency for being composed and solid in defense.

A quiet yet impressive performer at Chelsea, Zouma is ready to step into the heart of Mourinho's defence on a full-time basis.

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