Chelsea defender joins London rivals in permanent transfer


France's defender Kurt Zouma takes part in a training session at the Grbavica stadium in Sarajevo, on March 30, 2021, on the eve of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group D football match between Bosnia Herzegovina and France.

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has completed a transfer to London rivals West Ham United, signing a four-year deal with the east London outfit.

As confirmed by the club’s official website, Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has completed a permanent transfer to fellow Premier League outfit West Ham United, bringing an end to a seven-year association with the Blues.

Signed from Saint-Etienne in 2014, Zouma has had a stop-start career at Chelsea. Having impressed initially, the Frenchman dropped down the pecking order due to injuries and poor form, and then had to go out on loan to force his way back into the Blues’ setup, which he did in 2019 after impressing at Everton.

However, after a run of games, Zouma once again slipped down the radar, more so in the last season when Thiago Silva was signed. The 26-year-old became an afterthought once Thomas Tuchel became the manager. With game-time not coming as it is and Chelsea pushing to sign Jules Kounde the Frenchman’s time at Stamford Bridge was clearly up.

And, after 151 appearances for the club, Zouma has bid adieu to the capital club, making a cross-London switch to West Ham United. It is claimed that the 26-year-old has signed a contract with the club till the summer of 2025.

Welcome to West Ham United, @KurtZouma! ✍️

— West Ham United (@WestHam) August 28, 2021

Upon completion of the move, the Frenchman said (h/t West Ham official website): “I’m very happy and very proud. My conversation with the manager went very fast.

“I just felt like he really wanted me to come and join the team, especially a good team that’s started the season very, very well. With the great season that West Ham had last year, that gave the team a lot of confidence to improve this year – and I want to help the team do that.” IMG-20210829-043424-667

Manager David Moyes welcomed the signing of the French international saying: “I am delighted to welcome Kurt to West Ham United. He is a player we have tracked for some time, and we have taken great care and diligence to make the transfer happen.”

It is a good move for all parties involved. West Ham needed some younger blood in an ageing backline while Zouma needed to move away from Stamford Bridge to play regularly. As for Chelsea, they will now have the funds to go after and complete the signing of Kounde before the transfer window slams shut in a couple of days.

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