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Kurt Zouma
French association football player

Kurt Zouma

Kurt Zouma
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro French association football player
A.K.A. Kurt Happy Zouma
Is Athlete Football player Association football player
From France
Field Sports
Gender male
Birth 27 October 1994, Lyon, France
Age 27 years
Star sign Scorpio
Stats
Height: 190 cm
Weight: 92 kg
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Kurt Happy Zouma (born 27 October 1994) is a French professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team.

Zouma began his career at Saint-Étienne, making his professional debut aged 16, and going on to win the Coupe de la Ligue with the club in 2013. Zouma joined Chelsea for £12 million in January 2014, but was loaned back to the French club for the remainder of the season. In his first full campaign in England, Zouma helped Chelsea win the League Cup and the Premier League. In July 2017, Zouma joined Stoke City on loan for the 2017–18 season. This was followed by another loan move to Everton for the 2018–19 season.

Zouma represented France at several youth levels, up to under-21. He made his senior international debut against Denmark on 29 March 2015.

Club career

Early career

Born in Lyon, Zouma began his career at age nine with Vaulx-en-Velin until he was 15. He played as a right winger and also as a striker before switching to his current position of a defender.

Saint-Étienne

Zouma joined Saint-Étienne in 2009. On 2 April 2011, he signed his first professional contract, agreeing to a three-year deal. He was subsequently promoted to the senior team by manager Christophe Galtier ahead of the 2011–12 season, and initially played without a name on his shirt in order to protect him from media attention.

Zouma made his professional debut at 16 years old, on 31 August 2011 in a Coupe de la Ligue match against Bordeaux, playing the entire match in a 3–1 win. On 17 September, he made his Ligue 1 debut in a 3–0 loss at Lorient; his first professional goal came on 19 November, replacing Paulão after nine minutes and finishing a corner kick to confirm a 2–0 win before half time at OGC Nice. He totalled 21 league games in his first season – 13 starts – and his other goal came on 14 January 2012, heading Banel Nicolita's corner for the only goal against lowly Sochaux at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

On 20 April 2013, Zouma played in Saint-Étienne's 1–0 win over Rennes in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. Eight days later in the Derby du Rhone away to Lyon, he opened a 1–1 draw by heading Yohan Mollo's corner after half an hour of play. On 7 November 2013, Zouma was banned for ten games following a challenge that left Sochaux's Thomas Guerbert with a broken right leg and a dislocated ankle.

Chelsea

2014–15 season

On 31 January 2014, Zouma joined Chelsea on a five-and-a-half-year contract for a fee believed to be around £12 million (€14.6 million). He remained at Saint-Étienne on loan for the remainder of the 2013–14 season.

Zouma first appeared as a first-half substitute for Chelsea in a pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 friendly win against Slovene club Olimpija, on 27 July 2014. He was given the number 5 shirt, previously worn by Michael Essien.

On 24 September, Zouma made his first competitive appearance for Chelsea, scoring the opener in a 2–1 win against Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the League Cup. He made his second Chelsea start and first UEFA Champions League appearance on 21 October against Maribor, helping his side keep a clean sheet in a 6–0 win. He made his Premier League debut as an added-time substitute for Willian in the 1–1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on 26 October 2014.

On 4 January 2015, Zouma scored the third goal for Chelsea in the 3–0 victory over Watford in the FA Cup. Six days later, he started in the Premier League for the first time, partnering John Terry in place of Gary Cahill and keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 home win over Newcastle United, which put Chelsea back into first place in the league table. With Nemanja Matić suspended and John Obi Mikel injured, Zouma played in defensive midfield as Chelsea won the League Cup Final on 1 March after a 2–0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. On 3 May, he featured as a substitute for the final five minutes in place of Willian as Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1–0 to win the league title.

2015–17

On 2 August 2015, Zouma was a 69th-minute substitute for César Azpilicueta as Chelsea lost 1–0 to rivals Arsenal in the Community Shield. Starting ahead of John Terry, he scored his first Premier League goal on 19 September, heading in Cesc Fàbregas' cross to open a 2–0 home win over the same opposition. On 24 November, as a late substitute for the injured Terry, he scored his first European goal to conclude a 4–0 win at Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League group stage.

Under interim manager Guus Hiddink, Zouma regularly started alongside Terry as Chelsea's form improved. On 7 February 2016, Zouma ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee after landing awkwardly from a jump in a match against Manchester United. He required surgery and was ruled out for six months.

In the summer of 2016, Zouma traveled and trained with the first-team during preseason. Chelsea also rejected a loan offer from Schalke 04. On 24 October, Zouma made his first competitive appearance after being out of action for nine months, playing 45 minutes for the Chelsea under-23 side in a 2–2 draw against Derby County. On 8 January 2017, Zouma made his first team comeback in Chelsea's 4–1 FA Cup third-round win over Peterborough United. On 4 February, he made his first appearance of the 2016–17 Premier League season as a substitute in a 3–1 win against rivals Arsenal.

2017–18 season: Loan to Stoke City

Following agreeing to a new six-year deal with Chelsea, on 21 July 2017, Zouma joined fellow Premier League side Stoke City on loan for the 2017–18 season. On 12 August, he made his debut in a 1–0 loss at Everton.

In November 2017, Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross expressed his surprise that Chelsea had loaned out Zouma, who had only missed one match, against his parent club. On 20 November he headed his first goal for the Potters, in a 2–2 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion. Zouma played 37 matches for Stoke in 2017–18 as the club suffered relegation to the EFL Championship.

2018–19 season: Loan to Everton

On 10 August 2018, Zouma joined fellow Premier League side Everton on loan for the 2018–19 season. He made his debut on 25 August as a last-minute substitute for the injured Michael Keane in a 2–2 draw at Bournemouth.

Zouma scored his first goal for Everton on 13 January 2019, a header to open a 2–0 home win also against Bournemouth. He was sent off for dissent after the final whistle in a 1–0 loss at Watford on 9 February.

2019–20 season: Return to Chelsea

Zouma returned to Chelsea following the expiration of his loan at Everton. He made 32 appearances and scored 2 goals with the club. On 11 August 2019, Zouma made his first appearance of the season as a starter in the 4–0 away defeat to Manchester United. He was back on the scoresheet against Grimsby Town on 25 September 2019, in a 7–1 home win in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

On 1 January 2020, Zouma marked his 100th appearance for the club as Chelsea drew 1–1 to Brighton & Hove Albion at Falmer Stadium.

International career

Zouma is a France youth international having represented his nation at under-16 and under-17 level. He played with the under-17 team at the 2011 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship and 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Zouma has been the captain for the French under-21 side. He was part of the under-20 team that won the 2013 World Cup in Turkey. In the quarter-finals against Uzbekistan in Rize, he headed the last goal of a 4–0 victory.

Senior France manager Didier Deschamps wanted to build a defence around Zouma and fellow youngster Raphaël Varane, and on 19 March 2015, he was called him up for the first time for friendlies against Brazil and Denmark. He made his debut in the latter match ten days later, a 2–0 win at his former club ground with Saint-Étienne, the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, replacing Morgan Schneiderlin for the last eight minutes of the game. After his injury for Chelsea in February, Zouma missed France's hosting of UEFA Euro 2016.

He returned to the squad in August 2017, replacing the injured Raphaël Varane for a World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands. He was put on standby for France's squad at the final tournament in Russia. Zouma earned his first France cap in over three years on 11 October 2018 as a substitute in a 2–2 friendly draw with Iceland, coming on as a substitute and winning the equalising penalty.

On 11 June 2019, Zouma made his first start for the France senior team, played every minute of the match and scored his first senior international goal, in the 4–0 away win over Andorra in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match.

Style of play

A November 2013 report by FourFourTwo noted Zouma's strength, reading of the game, and aerial presence, while mentioning his occasional lapses in concentration. In January 2014, Zouma was named by British newspaper The Observer as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe. The newspaper wrote, "Blessed with exceptional power and technique, Zouma is also coveted by many for his leadership qualities."

Match of the Day pundit, Danny Murphy linked Zouma to Marcel Desailly, another Frenchman who played in defence for Chelsea. Writing after a draw with Manchester City, which included a strong run and perfectly-executed sliding tackle on Sergio Agüero, Murphy noted Zouma's reliability and confidence against the strong opponent, in addition to his pace. He predicted that Zouma could be a Chelsea mainstay for years to come, and would be an ideal replacement for captain John Terry, then aged 34.

Ryan Shawcross called Zouma the "ultimate defender" for his speed, jump, passing, shooting and tackling, and said that Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld was the only central defender on his level.

Personal life

Zouma's parents emigrated to France from the Central African Republic. His older brother Lionel plays in the same position for French club Bourg-en Bresse, and his younger brother Yoan is a defender for Bolton Wanderers. Zouma is named after Kurt Sloane, Jean-Claude Van Damme's character in the 1989 film Kickboxer, while his middle name Happy reflects an African tradition of using positive words as middle names. Zouma is married to Sandra, with whom he has three children. Zouma is a Muslim and made a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2019.

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 8 March 2020
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Saint-Étienne B 2010–11 CFA 7 1 7 1
2011–12 CFA 2 1 2 1
2012–13 CFA 1 0 1 0
Total 10 2 10 2
Saint-Étienne 2011–12 Ligue 1 21 2 1 0 1 0 23 2
2012–13 Ligue 1 18 2 4 0 1 0 23 2
2013–14 Ligue 1 24 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 27 0
Total 63 4 5 0 2 0 3 0 73 4
Chelsea 2014–15 Premier League 15 0 2 1 5 1 4 0 26 2
2015–16 Premier League 23 1 1 0 1 0 6 1 1 0 32 2
2016–17 Premier League 9 0 4 0 0 0 13 0
2019–20 Premier League 22 0 2 0 2 1 6 0 1 0 33 1
Total 69 1 9 1 8 2 16 1 2 0 104 5
Stoke City (loan) 2017–18 Premier League 34 1 1 0 2 0 37 1
Everton (loan) 2018–19 Premier League 32 2 2 0 2 0 36 2
Career total 208 10 17 1 14 2 19 1 2 0 260 14

International

As of match played 11 June 2019
National team Year Apps Goals
France 2015 2 0
2018 1 0
2019 2 1
Total 5 1

International goals

As of match played 11 June 2019. France score listed first, score column indicates score after each Zouma goal.
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 June 2019 Estadi Nacional, Andorra la Vella, Andorra 5  Andorra 4–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2020 qualification

Honours

Saint-Étienne

  • Coupe de la Ligue: 2012–13

Chelsea

  • Premier League : 2014–15, 2016–17
  • Football League Cup: 2014–15
  • FA Cup runner-up: 2016–17

France U20

  • FIFA U-20 World Cup: 2013

Individual

  • Chelsea Young Player of the Year: 2014–15
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 17 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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