EPL: Real reason Kurt Zouma left Chelsea for West Ham – Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel has given the real reason Kurt Zouma left the Blues for West Ham United last summer transfer window.

Zouma, who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2014 under Jose Mourinho’s regime, hardly cements his place in the heart of Chelsea’s defence under a succession of managers.

The centre-back spent time out on loan at the likes of Stoke City, Saint-Etienne and Everton in a bid to get his career back on track.

Zouma had started to make significant progress under former Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, but after he was sacked in January, the 26-year-old struggled to win the faith of Tuchel.

The France international was left out of the team which won the Champions League at the end of last season.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with West Ham on Saturday afternoon, Tuchel said the performances of Trevoh Chalobah in pre-season influenced Chelsea’s decision to allow Zouma to move on.

“We replaced him [Kurt Zouma] with Trevoh because we had the trust in Trevoh,” Tuchel was quoted by Chelsea’s official website as saying.

“Until this moment, we couldn’t allow him to go, because of course, we are selfish, and we have to see if we have a strong squad, but you have to see the situation of Kurt also, and his point of view.

“He is a strong, experienced Premier League player and he suffered from the decision for [Cesar] Azpilicueta in the back three, for Andreas [Christensen] and for Toni [Rudiger] in the back three as direct competitors to his place, so he had not enough minutes for his status and quality and for where he wants to be in this time of his career.

“We had many talks about it during the pre-season and reflected on his and our positions, the more we got to know Trevoh we thought maybe if Kurt arrives with the wish constantly to go, he can.

“For many weeks, there was not an offer that interested him, so it was always clear. For me, I love Kurt and I told him I love him. I said we don’t need to do these talks because I am happy if you stay, even if Trevoh comes in.

“I said you are a top-quality player and you have to fight for your place and you always have a chance to play, but it is hard competition.”

Zouma has started all of West Ham’s last ten Premier League games and scored the winner in a 3-2 win over Liverpool last month.

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