Marco Silva has been speaking in glowing terms of Kurt Zouma's impact at Everton since arriving on transfer deadline day last August.
The France international was snapped up on a season-long loan from Chelsea and has arguably been the Blues' most consistent centre-half this term.
That has led to inevitable talk about just how feasible with would be to sign Zouma on a permanent basis this summer but while Silva couldn't answer that question definitively, he did express his satisfaction with how well the defender has slotted into the side.
“I am really pleased, to be really honest with you,” Silva said in the Liverpool Echo. “Really pleased.
“I took the decision on the last day of the market. I had the name in my mind, always, and was in contact with people who are close to him but I had that solution in mind, even if you know the club doesn't want to sell him.
“I am pleased because he is helping our team, he fits well in our squad, he is a little bit different in terms of profile to our other central defenders — he is a little bit faster when we lose the ball. He is different to Jags, Mina and Michael.
“But to be honest with you, I see many, many conditions in which he can improve, and he knows because I speak to him everyday what I am demanding of him.
“But I am really happy with him, he is improving, trying, he is a good professional, he is happy in our club, he is a good team-mate and a really important player.
“Let's see what we can do or not in the future but it's also about his opinion, about his future. But we are really happy with him.”
Zouma has been quoted, quite understandably, as saying that he is looking forward to returning to Chelsea this coming summer as an older, more rounded player after successive seasons on loan at Stoke and Everton and there have been no indications that the Londoners have any intention of selling him.
Zouma's success at Goodison Park means, however, that the Blues' hierarchy will almost certainly make inquiries over whether they would entertain letting him go and how much that would cost, providing the player himself is willing.
Reader Comments (76)
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1 Posted 20/02/2019 at 07:04:17
2 Posted 20/02/2019 at 07:45:15
3 Posted 20/02/2019 at 07:48:49
Like I have said and believe, many times, I don't think a lot of our players are that bad, it's the system that Silva is trying to implement is neither practical or suited to those players' talents, and that makes them look inept.
4 Posted 20/02/2019 at 07:57:13
5 Posted 20/02/2019 at 07:59:18
Much of that however (as much as we criticise) came under the stewardship of Walsh as DOF. (Stones obviously wasnt)
Im surprised weve left that model as every couple who dont make it (Foulds, Donkor) could be countered by one who does.
Obviously the academy transfer ban doesnt help!!
6 Posted 20/02/2019 at 08:36:04
Mina needs to get himself sorted out on the injury front because thats becoming a big letdown after paying £20 plus million.
Keane needs a man leading by example next to him because he himself seems to be a very anxious timid individual and always seems susceptible to confidence problems.
Id keep Zouma most definitely but its debatable whether thats really going to happen.
7 Posted 20/02/2019 at 08:45:51
I would make him captain straight away.
The only one who looks hurt by defeat.
8 Posted 20/02/2019 at 08:53:33
Silva doesnt deserve any more transfer money until he can demonstrate he understands the fundamentals of football.
9 Posted 20/02/2019 at 09:14:23
Come on Phil.
10 Posted 20/02/2019 at 09:24:25
11 Posted 20/02/2019 at 09:30:11
Dont you think the manager of a Premier League team should be able to organise his side to defend a set piece?
12 Posted 20/02/2019 at 09:52:16
13 Posted 20/02/2019 at 09:55:15
Its's disconcerting that it's likely neither will be playing for us next season and shows that we need to strengthen the quality of the squad when they leave.
14 Posted 20/02/2019 at 10:09:21
15 Posted 20/02/2019 at 10:58:48
Holgate is earning some positive reviews with the Baggies but he is playing at right back. That is not helping him prove he could cut the mustard at centre back in the Premier League.
16 Posted 20/02/2019 at 11:14:59
A touch over exaggeration from yourself.
17 Posted 20/02/2019 at 11:34:29
18 Posted 20/02/2019 at 11:42:08
19 Posted 20/02/2019 at 11:42:35
20 Posted 20/02/2019 at 11:45:27
21 Posted 20/02/2019 at 11:59:10
22 Posted 20/02/2019 at 12:08:23
23 Posted 20/02/2019 at 12:12:59
Zouma is a top quality, and very young defender who will only get better.
Any chance of keeping him depends on a) whether chelsea's next manager wants him (with Luiz on the decline, Cahill on his way out - he probably will have a role) and b) us improving. Why would Zouma want to join this team on a permanent basis?
In terms of Mina he needs to play, he has hardly had a chance. For me, Mina and Zouma until the end of the season. And maybe see if there is a defensive coach willing to come in and sort this lot.
24 Posted 20/02/2019 at 12:27:41
We could have Franz Beckenbauer playing centre half with this lot and we'd still be rubbish.
25 Posted 20/02/2019 at 12:41:56
And agree with Bobby on Holgate. The manger pushed him straight into the side at RB and he's held the position since, 7-8 games. The Championship has 4 teams in or within 3 points of 1st place and West Brom is one. So he's not just playing but playing under some promotion pressure. Maybe RB is a better position for him. Baines and Coleman were pretty scrawny and had fine careers.
26 Posted 20/02/2019 at 13:34:17
27 Posted 20/02/2019 at 13:40:07
28 Posted 20/02/2019 at 13:50:03
Gana came from Villa and they got relegated.
You can't load a team's achievements or failures on one player mate.
29 Posted 20/02/2019 at 14:11:58
I didnt say because Stoke got relegated that means we shouldn't sign Zouma, I just stated a fact Zouma partnered Shawcross ( who many on here were saying we should buy) and Stoke went down. I also said I thought Zouma had done OK and if push comes to shove he has probably been our best centre back.
30 Posted 20/02/2019 at 14:53:03
31 Posted 20/02/2019 at 15:28:19
32 Posted 20/02/2019 at 15:41:54
Let's not use the shit house Adams as a guideline though.
An out and out over the top merchant.
A coward on a football pitch.
33 Posted 20/02/2019 at 16:01:00
He is also a ballwatcher who loses opponents off his back shoulder repeatedly, especially on set pieces. It is a major flaw, and one that is likely to go unrepaired -- after 170 top-level games, he has developed as far as he is going to IMO.
DK #3, I believe he has publicly declared his desire to return to Chelsea only once, back in August after he joined us. Whether Chelsea want him back will be up to their next manager. I personally doubt it. Too many rumors about them shopping for CBs in Italy and France.
And as I've said before, Holgate will never be in the CB picture as long as Silva is the manager. Holgate is the same height as Jags and 20 pounds smaller. Silva likes bridge towers in the center of his defense. Whether Holgate can make it for us at RB will depend on improving his godawful attacking skills, because he's a superior defender to Coleman and Kenny. He did create a goal last week with a perfect cross.
34 Posted 20/02/2019 at 16:18:56
35 Posted 20/02/2019 at 16:24:45
I think we could do a lot worse than hang on to Zouma, even though he does have that tendency to ball-watch. Like some of our fellow TW'ers have pointed out, he is one of the few who really does appear to care and gives 100% even though those round him don't always appear to do likewise.
36 Posted 20/02/2019 at 16:29:44
They'd make quite a back three if Silva ever decided to coach that.
37 Posted 20/02/2019 at 16:36:46
I 'get' the cause driving the #Me Too movement and I sympathize with it, but this is way, WAY too disproportionate and a severe disconnect by the perpetrator of a split second event from 70 years ago as the world took to the streets in celebration of a murderous and bloody World War.
38 Posted 20/02/2019 at 16:44:09
Without doubt tactics are making all of the defence look poor though if we have a chance I wouldn't hesitate buying him.
Holdgate is flying at WBA, hopefully he will come back and strongly challenge for a spot at the back.
40 Posted 20/02/2019 at 18:18:24
Agreed that the vandalism is ridiculous, but to be fair Mrs. Friedman (who was actually not even a nurse, but a dental assistant) was not at all thrilled to be grabbed, overpowered and forcibly kissed by a stranger. George, a very nice gentleman, did come to recognize the issue... and I would venture a guess that he apologized at some point during their correspondence in their later years (they both lived well into their 90s).
41 Posted 20/02/2019 at 18:26:06
I have watched Holgate in a couple of West Brom games including against Villa recently but I would hardly call his performances flying.
He is playing at RB alongside Dawson and Hegazy and while he looks steady he is not a patch on Jonjo in that position.
He put a nice cross in from which West Brom scored but still looked to have suspect concentration and temperament when under pressure.
42 Posted 20/02/2019 at 18:35:26
And if he is in fact improving his attacking skills at WBA, I think he has greater potential than JJK.
43 Posted 20/02/2019 at 18:50:39
44 Posted 20/02/2019 at 19:07:07
How many has he scored this season? And don't anyone say he can't defend in a relatively poor team
45 Posted 20/02/2019 at 20:00:45
46 Posted 20/02/2019 at 20:08:17
47 Posted 20/02/2019 at 20:30:21
For me, he is still learning the game but, as a full back, I rate Kenny much higher which is why I guess they let him out on loan.
People's memories are a bit short too. Him and Keane did not make a good pairing. The only time he looked good was with Williams alongside him talking him into position.
I think he has a lot of potential but, like Keane, his awareness and concentration are still suspect for me.
48 Posted 20/02/2019 at 20:34:00
Depends also on the plight of Chelsea, but he may fancy a clean break from them and maybe Everton.
On a different note, just looking at the goal difference between us and the teams above us. It's as if we are in a separate subdivision of the Premier League.
Frightening with the way we leak goals game-in & game-out, and make very few chances, but that because this squad perhaps has no balance, and the rest of the basic attributes needed in any good team, spirit, belief, guts, etc.
What a summer is in stall, for Everton.
49 Posted 20/02/2019 at 22:24:01
50 Posted 21/02/2019 at 02:31:08
Not saying our manager should be head down, mumbling negatives, but until he starts proving me wrong – which I hope upon hope he does and can!! – then I'm hanging back on being particularly interested in these kind of 'nice' but wholly unhelpful, devoid-of-meaningful-relevance, statements from within our club.
We need some fire!!!
51 Posted 21/02/2019 at 14:33:58
52 Posted 21/02/2019 at 15:28:42
The idea is to attack the ball. Be first to the cross. In my opinion, the most important player in zonal marking is the one with the greatest height advantage and with the best view of the ball and all the attacking players, player. This player is our goalkeeper was is rarely criticised for his role as a defender.
For his first season, he could do no wrong on TW. This season he is exposed for the erratic player he is. Poor passer of the ball, how may kickouts go out of play. How may parries back into play resulting in goals from rebounds, How may rash rushing out of defence causing mayhem in defence.
Great shot stopper but that's is not enough and he should be taking responsibility for the zone and organising the defence and claiming most of these crosses which have resulted in us conceding.
A goalkeeper is supposed to organise defenders not go ranting when we concede. Therein lies the problems in my humble opinion which Silva needs to address.
53 Posted 21/02/2019 at 16:12:39
But I wouldn't be too sad to lose him. He's been part of a defence that has struggled often. He makes fewer tackles, clearances and blocks per match than both Keane and Mina. And wins less headers. He is very prone to ball watching as Mike @33 points out and has certainly been directly responsible for a few crucial goals against us.
He does make more interceptions and that's probably because of his pace. Which we need, especially if we are going to persist with this high line.
So i'm on the fence. If we could buy him for £10-15m then i'd be up for it but no doubt Chelsea will want double that and I think we really need to stop overpaying for players. The purse strings will be tightening and we need to be more clever.
There are a fair few, strong and quick CBs out there, some of whom may not have Kurt's propensity for bal-lwatching.
54 Posted 21/02/2019 at 16:31:36
I would have liked a player similar to Jags. who has speed and positional sense to ''sweep up'' but overall the defensive set up has been very poor and has cost many points this season even against lower opposition.
Seamus was always good at doing that when in his prime but has not been the same since coming back from that horrible leg-break.
The whole defensive side of things needs to be looked at before next season as the defensive midfielders have also played below par in many games no matter who has started.
55 Posted 21/02/2019 at 18:07:11
It's not as if either Club is involved in Europe or any Cup competitions (chance would be a fine thing in our case) so fail to see why it is that date.
56 Posted 21/02/2019 at 18:32:32
Lets hope he dents RS title hopes by bulleting a header into their net before he goes back
57 Posted 21/02/2019 at 18:55:12
Keane and Zouma are good in the air but we concede from set pieces and don't score from them.
We have a keeper coach, a defensive coach, an attacking coach and a manager who is supposed to be tactically advanced.
Doesn't this all come back to the tactics of the manager and coaches.
Look at the difference at United since they took the shackles off.
Unless he changes part of his philosophy we aren't improving at set pieces anytime soon Zouma or no Zouma.
58 Posted 21/02/2019 at 19:37:02
Its hard to see Zouma making into the Chelsea team, even with their current troubles. I can't see him being ahead of Christensen or Rudiger and Azpilicueta plays CB for them in a back 3. Even if Luiz leaves, can't see Zouma making the first team there next season although Chelsea may take him back as back up.
I wouldn't mind another 12 months loan with us to give us decent cover and time to find someone else - at least that way we can focus on a striker. However, Cahill will also leave this summer so doubt Zouma's future next season will be sorted until the end of the transfer window depending on who the Chelsea manager is and if they sign a CB in the summer. May be leaving it too late for us.
59 Posted 21/02/2019 at 20:39:22
60 Posted 21/02/2019 at 21:24:41
I don't see it in the long run, however, if he does continue there, could be a heck of a learning curve,as at wing back he'll have to run, defend etc, which are essentially aspects of his game most people think he didn't show at No 10 or No 11.
Bale certainly didn't suffer from starting his first-team career at wing back.
61 Posted 22/02/2019 at 01:16:52
We are giving out about our centre forwards but if you don't get a decent supply you cant score. Our system of one centre forward who is expected to run all over the front line to break up the defence leaves no chance for them to score but should open opportunities for wingers such as Richarlison (Bernard) or Lookman (Walcott).
Alternatively, have a playmaker in a dominant midfield who can provide the defence-splitting pass for them to take the opportunity. Neither is happening.
Add this to my earlier rant on our defensive misgivings. I believe we need to have a strong commanding midfield to dominate games which provides opportunities for the front players and protection for the defenders especially against counter-attacks when we do press.
62 Posted 22/02/2019 at 08:37:09
I know what you mean about the ball-watching, but is this an inherent flaw in his play or a a symptom of the ultra- confusing zonal defensive tactics .
The ones he gets drilled into him 5 or 6 times every day before every match, with 200 multi-coloured scribbles on Marco's whiteboard?
63 Posted 22/02/2019 at 09:59:17
So it doesn't just happen to Everton then!
Will be interesting to see how their lawyers react to this.
64 Posted 22/02/2019 at 10:30:26
On a side note, how long will Abramovich hang around for when he can't buy players and can't watch them unless they play abroad?
65 Posted 22/02/2019 at 10:35:14
Mina might well be fit now and I think we should probably persevere with them for the rest of the season, even though I worry they make a fairly immobile pairing if we persist with a high line.
My biggest question mark so far over Brands was the pursuit and purchase of Mina (who is not quick) as a partner for Keane. Given Silva's propensity for a fairly high line, I'm surprised we didn't buy a faster centre-back to partner the slow Keane.
66 Posted 22/02/2019 at 10:51:07
If they decide to also get rid of the manager, I'm sure they'll hire the best sports lawyers on the planet to get the ban overturned lest they become unable to attract a top replacement for Sarri.
67 Posted 22/02/2019 at 11:40:42
ie they will just tell them to behave
68 Posted 22/02/2019 at 13:24:50
So it is not a given that Chelsea will avoid, with Cahill leaving in the summer, and David Luiz getting on, I guess Zouma will be very much part of the Chelsea set up next season, and if Zidane is their next manager, the French connection will certainly aid Zouma's cause.
69 Posted 22/02/2019 at 13:37:17
We've yet to see a charging Mina, but from what I saw for Barca, Colombia and on YouTube in Brazil, there's a quick player there. In addition to being slow off the mark, he's also slow on the turn, as we've seen a couple of times, ourselves.
I think Mina will be nurtured. He will not be discarded. He is a talent. He has a lot of things to offer that we need. He is big and strong, he is good in the air. Then there is also his off-field persona. He is undoubtedly a big personality. He is one who can unify that dressing room.
If Yerry can grasp a first-team place, can perform well and keep it, then he can assert his authority on the rest of the team and he could be a leader we are crying out for. Whereas Keane and Zouma are quiet, Mina is loud and outgoing. He is there high fiving them all, he is the one putting his arm around the others, he is one to gee them up. He often has a smile as wide as the Mersey tunnel.
To me, on the outside looking in, he has an infectious personality and could be a real positive influence in the dressing room. I would bet this was a major factor in bringing him in. We lack personalities in that dressing room, and here is one, we just need him to be in the side and playing well so he can become that unifying personality who can rally the rest of the side.
70 Posted 22/02/2019 at 15:02:32
71 Posted 22/02/2019 at 15:15:22
72 Posted 22/02/2019 at 16:20:33
73 Posted 22/02/2019 at 16:24:32
74 Posted 22/02/2019 at 21:49:44
Good post pal. I agree 100% about Yerry Mina. I'm getting a bit fed up with people wanting a root and branch clear out of every player we have bought in the last five years.
The vast majority are under 25yrs of age for Christ's sake!
I still believe Marco Silva will turn our fortunes around. He needs time, a decent budget to spend in the forthcoming transfer window, help from Marcel Brands and some good luck in the sales department.
If we can keep Kurt Zouma on loan for another season (can't see Chelsea selling him outright). Either partner him with Mina/Keane or play a back three. I think we would have a strong starting line up at the back. We may need to get another centre half in for back up/squad rotation. Digne and Baines will keep us going next season down the left. Seamus and Holgate (if recalled) would be ok down the right.
I've said in many posts before now our midfield needs a proper box to box ball carrier. Someone with a bit of bite to carry the less physical players we have. I am not convinced that Andre Gomes is that player. Gana is great at putting a foot in but lacks size and strength. If he truly wants to go to PSG then it might not be a bad thing as a replacement in the way of Doucoure from Watford or a similar midfield bully could be brought in.
It's amazing what one player in the right position at the right time can do for the whole team. Cahill made us much more competitive. As did Carsley when we found his niche (I could keep going back in our history but I won't). Chelsea looked unstoppable with Cante playing centrally but look how easy it is to play them now Sarri has him on the wing.
Now to the elephant in the room. WE NEED A STRIKER. No good team in the history of the game has or will win anything without an out and out goalscorer. They are hard to find and bloody expensive but it is essential that we start next season with a 20-25 goal a season man. Don't ask me who (take your pick, Werner etc)
There are eleven players on the pitch who ALL need to defend in one way or another when they lose the ball. We have six tops that work hard enough to stop the opposition from having 3-4 golden opportunities every game. This exposes the defenders badly. A stock check and some harsh words required post season me thinks.
Before all the Marco haters bite my head off for backing him. Please come up with an alternative who is a/ a proven winner. b/ available and c/ would come to us at this time. Good luck finding him/her as I can't think of anyone brave enough to take the job on.
75 Posted 22/02/2019 at 22:09:02
I too am excited to see Mina get a good run. I too think he has some much needed personality and leadership skills. Though I do worry that his partnership with Keane is too immobile (acceleration wise).
76 Posted 23/02/2019 at 01:19:35
The fact that we have Lookman and Walcott, the best combination player with Seamus and Gomes is weighing on the confidence of both. Overall, confidence seemed to go downhill after the Liverpool fluke and Digne's own goal; Everton need luck and confidence.
I believe Pickford is possibly the best at making reflexive saves but needs the confidence and in time would be the best in Britain.
77 Posted 24/02/2019 at 06:06:15
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