Kurt Zouma linked to Mourinho’s United; good signing, great potential – not likely, though

Manchester United have been linked to central defenders aplenty at this stage of the season after Eric Bailly and Daley Blind were left as the experienced fit defenders at the club when Marcos Rojo suffered his season-ending knee injury in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-final just over a fortnight ago. Since then, though, both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have returned to training with the latter coming on late in the 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final. United, however, will still need some strengthening in the centre of defence as Rojo will most likely be out for the majority of next season with doubts on both Jones and Smalling due to their injury record, not to mention the ability of both, which has seemed poor at times over the last few seasons. Kurt Zouma, a Chelsea central defender seems to be the latest name linked to Jose Mourinho’s United side, probably because he managed him at Chelsea.

What is being reported and by who?

The Sun have reported that because the French defender has been used sparingly this season, he could be looking for a new club in order to increase his playing time, with United reportedly hot on the heels of the 22-year-old. The report states that Zouma is a player Mourinho trusts from his second spell at Chelsea, which if it came off, would be a good signing for United, but it is pie in the sky at this moment in time. Zouma returned from a serious knee injury this season, similar to that which Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a fortnight ago, successfully undergoing surgery and on the road to recovery. Chelsea could be set for an upheaval this summer with John Terry leaving the club, so losing Zouma too would suggest that Antonio Conte has something in the bag in terms of incoming players to replace them, or seemingly deciding to continue with the back line he currently has, which could be considered a risk. The Daily Star have also reported that United will aim to sign the defender, but news differs from there. The Mirror state that Zouma could be allowed to leave Chelsea on loan next season with Southampton defender Virgin van Dijk a target for the Italian. The Telegraph have reported the same story too, suggesting that United may not actually be interested in the Frenchman, let alone Chelsea letting him leave for a club considered as a rival, despite the difference between both teams in the league this season.

What type of player is Kurt Zouma?

The Frenchman is a central defender and a raw talent needing time and patience to find his feet, especially after not yet completing a full 38 match season in the Premier League. Zouma has a long way to go before he reaches the potential of a young John Terry, but that is the level he could reach. Under Antonio Conte, Zouma could excel even further, given the chance. A loan spell to regain confidence may be best for him next season, being that Conte is interested in Virgil van Dijk, which will thwart his playing time, leaving him on the sidelines, or even playing U23 football, which is not the best for him. Zouma could be convinced to leave Chelsea, but the club allowing that to happen would be stupid in my opinion. Zouma is a potential defender who could solidify the back line for years to come.

Likelihood of the transfer?

It seems unlikely that Kurt Zouma will leave Chelsea on a permanent deal this season, especially to a team considered a Premier League rival. A loan spell away from Chelsea, perhaps even in a different country seem most likely. United are being linked to central defenders as that is the position they will need to strengthen this summer, so who more than a player who Mourinho has worked with before. It won’t be long before the links to John Terry commence again with journalists running out of ideas for speculation articles to enhance the ability for their websites to coin in the money using their ‘fake news’ article to manipulate those who to not know any better or are easily led with transfer rumours. I don’t see anything here, which may be a shame as Zouma is a player who could be one of the best in the work with chances and an injury free season to build up his confidence. At 22, he has a long way to go but has the world at his feet.

copyright: JW