West Ham’s talks to sign Kurt Zouma are still ongoing…
What’s the word?
That’s according to the ever-reliable ExWHUemployee, who has provided a fresh update on the Irons’ pursuit of the Chelsea centre-back to his Patreon page.
“So the major developments have been on centre backs again. Talks for Zouma continued today, as I said it would, and the clubs can’t agree on the asking price. Although it appears that terms with the player did get a bit closer.
“Chelsea are keen to sell Zouma because of the imminent signing of [Romelu] Lukaku so could be prepared to back down and West Ham would like to get someone in, preferably before the weekend. Zouma also wants to join West Ham.”
Get it done
Back in May, Football Insider reported that David Sullivan and co were to set aside funds to secure a ‘top-level’ centre-back this summer, at the request of David Moyes.
Therefore, it seems strange that the Hammers aren’t prepared to pay Chelsea’s valuation of Zouma as he’s a standout candidate to fulfil one of the 58-year-old’s biggest priorities this window.
But there could be hope yet, as Ex explains, with the Blues looking to raise finances to secure a return for Lukaku.
Zouma has excelled at this level for several seasons now, yet doesn’t seem to get the credit he deserves. Whilst his manager Thomas Tuchel has described him as “top-level”, he’s seemingly not in his plans for the new season, certainly if he’s prepared to sell him.
The 26-year-old, who is valued at €40m (£34m) by CIES Football Observatory, recorded monstrous numbers in 2020/21 after starting 22 league games.
As per WhoScored, the eight-cap France international won an average of 3.6 aerial battles per game and managed a seasonal passing accuracy of 90.9%, which for context, only three other centre-backs managed to exceed and are returns that would see him top the charts at the London Stadium.
Evidently, Zouma is a superb ball-playing defender and one capable of using his brute strength to bully the opposition’s attack – something that the Hammers witnessed first-hand as he tormented former striker Sebastian Haller back in December.
The 6 foot 3 titan, who has since departed for Ajax, was caught offside three times, lost possession 16 times and won just six of 16 aerial battles when coming up against the Chelsea colossus, who himself lost just one duel in the air, and recorded two interceptions, six clearances and made 90% of his passes, as per SofaScore.
It’s no wonder legendary centre-back John Terry once described Zouma as a “beast”.
“He’s a great lad, unbelievable pro and a great professional,” claimed the four-time Premier League winner on Instagram Live. “He’s a beast of a player.”
On the above evidence, GSB must absolutely stump up the cash to seal Moyes his next marquee signing. If he is indeed so desperate for a high-tier defender, then Zouma could well be the most viable and suitable option.
Getting someone of his quality and experience in the side would certainly be a transfer masterclass from the Scotsman.