Zouma looking forward to full Blues debut

Tuesday, 28 August, 2018 48comments  |  Jump to last

Kurt Zouma gave his first press conference since joining Everton on loan at Finch Farm today, ahead of what will almost certainly be his full debut for the club.

The combination of Phil Jagielka's suspension, Yerry Mina's foot injury and the skull fracture that Michael Keane sustained at Bournemouth on Saturday means that Zouma is in line to make his first start for the Blues since his deadline-beating move from Chelsea, against Rotherham United in the Carabao Cup.

The French defender made a brief appearance as Keane's replacement for the remaining few minutes of stoppage time at Vitality Stadium but having got comfortable in his new surroundings, he is looking forward to making his debut in front of the Goodison faithful.

“It will be a very important moment for me, as I came here to play and I'm determined to help the team win games,” Zouma said. “That's what I'm here for.

“It's never easy to come into these kinds of games when one of your team-mates is injured. The whole club wishes [Michael] well and I believe he is doing good now because it was really unfortunate what happened.”

Zouma joined the ranks of four senior centre-backs when he transferred from Stamford Bridge, his second season-long loan in as many years after his spell at Stoke City last term.

He explained that he likes what he has seen at the club so far and he welcomes the competition for places.

“My first impressions here were good,” Zouma said. “The manager is close to all the players and is very focused on the job. I was really impressed. The fans too I really liked the atmosphere. I am at a big club.

“The manager knows he has a lot of quality in his team and now we have to show that on the pitch.

“I am aiming to play thiscd78 year. I am aiming to help Everton win something. [Competition] is a good thing. It will help us improve and allow us to make the fans happy.

“We have played the first three games very well, especially with 10 men. The attitude was fantastic and everybody gave 100% on the pitch and this is what we need to do all season.

“The Carabao Cup is a realistic chance of silverware. I am an Everton player and I want to play for this team.”


Reader Comments (48)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:05:39
I was under the impression he had already made his debut as an emergency substitution when Michael Keane was injured at Bournemouth.

I have a feeling that he is going to be a big hit, not only on the pitch, but with the fans as well.

Hopefully with a changed side we can carry the momentum on and get into the next round.

Frank Wade
2 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:25:20
Hope he can have a successful season and is good at defending corners. Anyone know how long he has left on his Chelsea contract? Do we have a chance of pulling a Barkley stroke with Zouma?
Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:33:32
Jags is eligible for the cup.
Dan Brierley
4 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:34:27
I would hope to see Holgate continue his development in cup games, with this guy on the bench. From what I saw of him for Stoke, he looks average at best. Still too many mistakes to be a top six centre half.
Steve Ferns
5 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:35:38
He's suspended for one more game, Kieran.

Maybe you've confused the yellow card suspensions being competition specific? If so, good news this is Richarlison's first suspended game.

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:39:10
The official FA suspension list

Note Jagielka's suspension ends after tomorrow and Richarlison's starts tomorrow.

John Audsley
7 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:52:53
Always liked Zouma, pace and a strong defender.

Stoke didn't work out but he is at a better club with better management, training facilities, players and fans.

Good luck sir, make us proud.

Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 28/08/2018 at 22:56:25
My guess


Subs: Niasse, Calvert-Lewin, Dowell, Sandro, Coleman, Pennington, Pickford.

Tom Bowers
9 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:12:07
Anyone know why Kennedy of the Barcodes didn't even get a yellow for the deliberate kick, clearly seen on TV. Does he have friends in high places?

Shame on the officials and the Football league! The whole process stinks.

Gordon Crawford
10 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:16:52
I was looking forward to seeing Zouma play, but if what the papers are saying is true, then I couldn't be bothered.

It's being reported that he said “He is looking forward to going back and playing for Chelsea.” If that's his desire then fine, but he shouldn't publicly announce it. Very unprofessional.

Rant over.

Gavin Johnson
11 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:27:00
So Zouma wants to impress so he can get back to Chelsea?! That's his prerogative, but I'm 50/50 on whether Keane or Zouma should be Mina's CB partner when all are fit. Now, I'd be inclined to favour Keane.

I don't think there's anything between them in ability and I don't see the point in regularly playing someone who won't be here next season.

Of course, if Zouma was much better, but I don't think he is. Here's more reason to hope Keane comes back soon and picks up his form from where he left off.

David Hallwood
12 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:35:18
Tom (#9), how about Lucas Moura's kung fu kick vs the Mancs?

As for Zuma, let's hope he can defend crosses.

Si Cooper
13 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:48:18
I am puzzled. Why, at this moment, wouldn't Zouma feel like he has something to prove to the Chelsea hierarchy?

That's not surprising or particularly important if he gives his all whilst ‘on loan' at our club.

If things go particularly well he may ultimately decide he'd prefer to move permanently. If he was implying that already I'd wonder about his ambition and decision making process.

Peter Laverty
14 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:52:38
Fingers crossed, an ever present from now on.
Liam Reilly
15 Posted 28/08/2018 at 23:54:13
Who knows or cares what's been said or not in the media... Let's see if he can defend first and cement a place in the first team.

Still to be convinced myself.

Gordon Crawford
16 Posted 28/08/2018 at 00:00:55
I care and I’m sure his team mates care. This conversation should be between him and his agent and at the end of the season too.
Jay Harris
17 Posted 29/08/2018 at 00:42:55
Let's put his statement into context. He said he likes being at a big club like Everton where he can show Chelsea how good he is.The lad is only on loan for now to the end of the season.

What do you want him to say?

"He doesn't want to go back to Chelsea cos he likes it so much at Everton"? And then what if Everton don't want him permanently???

He is not going to burn his bridges (no pun intended).

Tony Stanley
18 Posted 29/08/2018 at 00:48:05
Tom @9, I agree with you, a strange decision.
Lawrence Green
19 Posted 29/08/2018 at 00:49:43
Jay #17

You beat me to it, well said Sir. If any of the players we have loaned out in the recent past had have said "I can't wait to get away – I love it here (insert name of club)" – fans would be up in arms.

If he puts on an Everton shirt and gives 100% then that's fine by me, nobody knows what will happen between now and the end of his loan period, but he is an Everton player for that time and as such he should get our full support whenever he plays for Everton FC.

Bill Gienapp
20 Posted 29/08/2018 at 01:00:50
Lawrence (19) - well, that's kind of what Sandro said when he arrived at Sevilla last year (too bad they had no interest in paying his inflated wages) and Lookman seems to have done everything short of saying that in regards to RB Leipzig.

As for Zouma, if he wants to impress the Chelsea brass, he needs to have a monster season, which is good for us.

Laurie Hartley
21 Posted 29/08/2018 at 01:03:03
Lawrence #19 – "insert name of club" – how about Leipzig? ;)

Victor Yu
22 Posted 29/08/2018 at 02:45:18
Is there an option to buy him after the loan? Does anyone know?
Jamie Crowley
23 Posted 29/08/2018 at 03:04:51
This dude is a beast of a human being, has the whitest teeth on earth, and the biggest smile I've seen.

He's, at first glance, a very likable looking person. Superficial as hell, but hey, whatcha gonna do?

I hope he does well.

Who cares if he wants to impress the folks back at Chelsea. He's on loan, they own him.

Probably 75% of our current players wouldn't mind impressing the folks at Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, etc. They might get a raise!

I hope he learns to bleed for the shirt. Until that time, I don't give a flying fuck what his motivations are, as long as he gives 100%.

We've dropped points, we're entering a tournament we should target, I want laser-like focus from whomever's number gets called. Hell, Man Utd are floundering around like a fish out of water, Arsenal are a mess, Chelsea I'm not convinced, etc.

We've an opportunity this year. If Zouma The Destroyer of Villages helps us succeed, super.

Ed Prytherch
24 Posted 29/08/2018 at 03:40:33
A few people think that Lookman will start tomorrow but I doubt it. Calvert-Lewin and Dowell were on the bench on Saturday and were clearly ahead of Lookman then. Could he have done enough in practice these past two days to leapfrog those two?
David Ellis
25 Posted 29/08/2018 at 03:54:48
My guess:


I think Bernard needs a run-out out wide rather than playing him as a No 10 as he'll be playing out wide on Saturday and for the next couple of games after that at least during Richarlison's suspension.

Once everyone is fit and ready, we may see Richarlison playing down the centre instead of Tosun, with Sigurdsson at No 10 and Bernard on the left. Having said that, I think Tosun plays an important role, but lacks that air of danger about him.

An important game to win.

Ajay Gopal
26 Posted 29/08/2018 at 04:42:52
I believe that Mina, Keane and Holgate should play as many games as possible. Zouma and Jags would be the fillers when we are thin on the ground – like at the moment. However, if Zouma takes his opportunity and makes the best of it, then good luck to him.

My team for the League Cup:

Kenny Holgate Zouma Digne
Davies Schneiderlin
Bernard Sigurdsson Lookman

Let Tosun play so he gets an opportunity to get on the score sheet and boost his confidence ahead of sterner tests. Not sure if Schneiderlin would be fit, but if he is not, then I would pull Siggy back alongside Davies and play Dowell in the advanced role.

Amit Vithlani
27 Posted 29/08/2018 at 05:49:33
Ajay - I have a feeling Keane will be out for some time. If Zouma does well during that period it will be tough to shift him. It also remains to be seen how effective Keane will be on his return.

ps: We continue to have some unbelievably horrid luck on injuries. Bolasie, Coleman, McCarthy, Keane all with pretty nasty injuries.

It follows some very poor luck we had with key players in the past – Jags and Arteta in their prime suffered terrible injuries (both missing our only cup final since 1995), whilst Anichebe was a victim of Nolan's shithousery. I think he too missed the same final.

Jerome Shields
28 Posted 29/08/2018 at 08:36:14
I hope he plays well. We still need to bring in another centre-back in January. It's the main consistent problem position in the team that is still currently without a permanent solution available. . . though the midfield needs to pull its weight more also.
Tony Everan
29 Posted 29/08/2018 at 12:14:39
Zouma wants to prove himself that he is good enough for Chelsea. He would be better off keeping that to himself, it is not what the Everton fans want to hear.

After getting relegated with Stoke last season, he should concentrate on proving he is good enough for us. We are paying his wages so he should forget about Chelsea for a season. They have treated him like a second-class citizen so he should be keeping all his options open and not shitting on his own doorstep.

Sam Hoare
30 Posted 29/08/2018 at 12:29:23
I was disappointed there was no option to buy in the Zouma deal. Instantly makes me want to play Holgate or Keane instead of him when fit as why should we develop a player for another club, and one of our rivals, to benefit from???

If he is set on a career at Chelsea, that is his prerogative but I reckon stating it openly will not help him to get minutes at Everton; unless I guess he proves to be definitively better than our other centre-backs. If it's a marginal thing (and it usually is) then I'd rather develop players who might prove the foundation for an Everton team moving forwards.

Dave Evans
31 Posted 29/08/2018 at 13:42:50
Hardly kicked a ball yet and a few already have him in the stocks.
If he contributes to ending our 'famous' defensive collapses, the long suffering away travellers will love him.
Tony Everan
32 Posted 29/08/2018 at 13:56:23
For the reasons that Sam above states, he is shooting himself in the foot somewhat by being so candid.
Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 29/08/2018 at 14:03:56
Steve Ferns,

Thanks, mate, for clearing that up. I was totally confused as I had read that Richarlison would only miss league games.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 29/08/2018 at 14:25:56
Kieran they changed the rules so that people who got a yellow card suspension from the Premier League couldn't serve it in the League Cup, especially when many wouldn't play anyway. This rule change led to much confusion in general, but at least the FA have that suspensions website so you know where you are at.

On the subject of Zouma and Chelsea, we cannot have double standards over Zouma and Lookman. Zouma is a Chelsea player, so his loyalty is to them, not some side he's played 10 minutes for. Let's be honest though, I doubt Zouma has a big future at Chelsea, they use younger players than him in the middle (Christensen) already. So if he does well, we can sign him, and he probably would want to come.

James Hughes
35 Posted 29/08/2018 at 14:26:42
I can't find where Zouma has said he wants to prove he is good enough for Chelski. He needs to prove he's good enough for us first.

Echoing Sam H's comments, as I did on TDD, with no option to buy Zouma after his loan expires, where does that leave EFC?

Zouma is unimpressive and next May we go, cheers mate see you later. Chelksi then look for his next loan deal.

Zouma is decent and we would like to buy, Chelski says "His price has gone up. Pay up, muppets!"

Zouma is immense and becomes an ever present and is our rock at the back. Chelksi goes "Thanks guys, you have developed a great player. Oh!! just one other thing, FECK OFF!"

None of my imagined scenarios has Everton coming out winners. Of course, there is another one: Zouma is decent and we would like to buy, Chelski says "His price is reasonable and we would love to do business with you lovely people." Errmmm possibly, maybe

Kieran Kinsella
36 Posted 29/08/2018 at 14:36:30
Steve 34

I agree on Zouma. It would be totally unprofessional of him to say anything negative about his current employers. He may or may not decide he wants to stay here, we may or not want him to. But for now he has to have loyalty to the club he is contracted to.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 29/08/2018 at 14:41:09
James (35), it's in the Daily Mirror, I also can't find anything wrong with his statement; he just wants to prove to the manager of Chelsea he is good enough to play for them.

He is a Chelsea player; what's wrong with coming out with an honest statement? I hope he proves, firstly, he is a very good player. That won't do us any harm if he does, then it's up to Chelsea as he's their player. If they want him, they will keep him; if not to it's up to us.

How much do we want him? If it comes to that, it means we have had a very good season out of him. Suits me; each to his own way of thinking.

Ray Roche
38 Posted 29/08/2018 at 14:42:41

So did Yakubu with his ruptured achilles.

James Hughes
39 Posted 29/08/2018 at 15:55:51
Dave, thanks for the info I will read the article on Zouma. I am thinking long term, therefore a bit unhappy with this deal.

Okay here goes:if Zouma plays well and if that leads to players like Keane, Holgate & Mina getting less game time, then how does that benefit Everton, if he goes back to Chelski?

This time next year we are in the same place as now re centre-backs

[I'm aware that is a lot of 'ifs'.]

Kieran Kinsella
40 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:01:17
Amit @27

I think it feels like bad luck because you're looking at it from just an Everton perspective. The Jags/Yak thing was almost a decade ago. I think most clubs have similar injuries over time.

Arsenal, for example, have got used to Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, missing 6 months per year every year not to mention that French bloke who just came back last year after about 3 years out, similar story with Cazorla.

John Hammond
41 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:06:18
Got to be the strongest team possible tonight. Get a win and keep the momentum and good vibes going. Give Baines a rest, Bernard on the right. I'd keep the rest as they were in the last game. If we can get 2 or 3 goals up then give the subs some decent game time then great.

Interesting tactical analysis, especially about Tosun's role in the team, here

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:12:09
James (#39), yes that makes a lot of sense thinking in the long term. I was just thinking the lad has been honest with his intentions and if we get a good season out of him, there is no harm done, but can also understand your point of view.
James Hughes
43 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:24:52
Dave, I was getting a bit ahead of myself, I will settle for a good season first. Worry about the details later.
Amit Vithlani
44 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:34:48
Kieran, you are probably right. However, two appalling leg breaks and two more serious injuries to big money signings feels like really shit luck.

And losing Jags, Mikky and Yak too (forgot about him) for our only cup final in yonks still rankles. Worse, all 3 came back having very clearly lost a yard of pace which made them less effective.

Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:40:20

I will agree the Yak/Arteta/Jags cup final was incredibly unlucky. It ripped the heart out of the team.

Frank Wade
46 Posted 29/08/2018 at 16:58:14
Looking at the official FA Suspension list that Steve posted in #6 above, I see that Liam Walsh and Beni Baningime are suspended for non-first team matches, Liam since December 2015 and Beni since October 2017. They must have been very naughty boys.
Jim Burns
47 Posted 29/08/2018 at 17:19:10
Steve @ 34 – thanks for that re Rickie- to confirm my understanding (it's been a long day) – does that mean he plays v Arsenal?
Steve Ferns
48 Posted 29/08/2018 at 17:22:01
Yes Jim. He’s available for selection.

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