Everton have today completed the loan signing of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea.
The defender will spend the entire season at Goodison Park after falling out of favour at Chelsea.
The Toffees do not hold an option to buy as part of the deal.
Ryan, from a Chelsea perspective, how do you view Zouma’s loan move to Everton?
I think it is a good move for him. I think in terms of the official side of it and it not getting confirmed until nearly a whole 24 hours after the deadline was a bit of a mess, but in the end, the club got their man.
It’s a step up after spending last season on loan at Stoke and he is certainly an improvement on what you have, so we’ll be keeping a close on how he gets on there.
How would you describe him as a player?
Without jumping on too many cliches, he’s a very physical defender. He’s going to put himself on the line for you. However, his stature and pure strength often give off the impression that those are his only attributes and he relies on those, when in fact he’s a much smarter defender than that. He’s also fairly handy on the ball, should Marco Silva look to play out from the back.
Aside from being a solid defender, he is also a really likeable person and will undoubtedly be a hit on and off the pitch at Goodison.
How did he do at Stoke last season?
It would be easy to look at Stoke’s relegation and make assumptions, but there was more to it than that. In fact, Zouma actually performed fairly well in the circumstances and was unlucky to have the relegation put next to his name.
Does he have a future at Chelsea?
It is so hard to say, especially given the long-term injury he sustained during Guus Hiddink’s time in charge.
Jose Mourinho brought him into the side and he looked like he could develop into the centre-back that would lead our defence for the next 10 years, then disaster strikes against Manchester United and he faces months on the sidelines.
He’s never quite been the same player since, as with many professionals who suffer these long-term knee injuries, which is a great shame.
If there was ever a time to break in at Chelsea, it was this summer, with concerns over David Luiz and Gary Cahill’s futures, but he has been deemed surplus to requirements.
It’s a stark reminder of how quickly a player’s luck can turn at a club. He was named our Young Player of the Year for the 2014/15 season and now we’re wondering if he’s played his last game in Chelsea blue.