West Ham are in talks with Chelsea for the signing of central defender Kurt Zouma but the player’s wage demands are proving a problem.
The Frenchman, 26, is the Hammers’ no.1 priority, with manager David Moyes keen to make some more additions to his squad. The centre-back is open to a move to West Ham, who have already seen the likes of Craig Dawson, Thierry Nevers and Alphonse Areola arrive at the London Stadium.
Kurt Zouma made 24 Premier League appearances last season, chipping in with five goals. But he fell down the defensive pecking order under Thomas Tuchel, starting only eight times. Yet, the centre-back, who is rated at around £25m, is happy to stay at Stamford Bridge if a deal to West Ham doesn’t materialise.
The 26-year-old has a contract at Chelsea that runs until 2023. Zouma played more than half an hour in Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup victory over Villarreal. But he was an unused substitute in the Blues’ 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in their Premier League season opener on Saturday.
West Ham crying out for defensive reinforcements
West Ham had a very well last season and finished sixth on the table, qualifying for the Europa League as a process. That will see David Moyes’ side play a lot more games as compared to the last term.
The Hammers have done well to bring in Areola on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-German, whilst signing Craig Dawson permanently from Watford after his impressive loan spell. David Moyes’ wish to do more business makes complete sense and he should bring in another centre-back before the transfer window slams shut in the next 10 days.
Angelo Ogbonna had an injury-hit 2020/21 campaign, while Fabian Balbuena has exited the club. Winston Reid is back after his loan spell with Brentford but he’s 33 and past his best. Ideally, West Ham must target someone young but experienced enough to seamlessly slot into Moyes’ side.
A smart bit of business in the closing stages of the transfer market could see the gaps in the West Ham squad being filled, thus, helping Moyes then balance the club’s domestic competitions and European adventure.
Kurt Zouma would be an ideal addition to the Hammers’ ranks
That being said, Kurt Zouma would be a top addition to the West Ham side.
Zouma isn’t a regular starter for Chelsea, despite Tuchel playing with three centre-backs. Youngster Trevoh Chalobah has been given opportunities by Tuchel and the academy graduate has taken it with both hands, thereby, further pushing the 26-year-old down the pecking order.
At the age of 26, the Frenchman is entering the best years of his career and should be playing week in, week out, which looks highly unlikely to happen at Chelsea this term. A move to West Ham could see Zouma enjoy the regular game time under Moyes and get back his career on track. With his experience and ability, he could be the leader of the pack and form a strong relationship with Dawson and Ogbonna.
The Frenchman has proven himself in the Premier League and would be a shrewd signing for the Hammers, particularly due to his ability to slot in at Moyes’ back-three system. Hence, West Ham must meet Chelsea’s £25m valuations for Zouma and bring him in as quickly as possible.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.