Zooming in on Kurt

After a very busy transfer window for Everton, we seemed to have brought in some big name players. The likes of Richarlison for 40 million, Yerry Mina who had just starred for Colombia in the World Cup and Bernard who seemed like he could be the bargain of the summer on a free transfer. We also squeezed one more in at the last minute and whilst Evertonians were overjoyed at those names, this player may have just been more important than them all. Kurt Happy Zouma signed on loan from Chelsea and has been at the heart of Everton’s defence for most of the season. He’s kept the big Colombian star out of the side, although some of that due to injury, and has struck up an excellent partnership with Michael Keane.

When Zouma came in I thought that he was a sensible signing. Nothing more nothing less. We needed back-up as Jags was getting on and Holgate still hadn’t fully nailed down his place with him still being a youngster and all. Chelsea had now loaned the twenty-four year old out three times, which made me slightly unconvinced he would be the main man at the back, especially with the signing of Mina who was probably going to partner Keane. However, I feel Kurt has had a great season for Everton overall but must all good things come to an end?

The key word there was ‘loan’. I will get back to that soon enough but lets look at what Zouma has been like for the blues this season. Well if you are a stat person and compare his stats to Michael Keane, he is generally lower in most. He has 38 interceptions to Keane’s 42. 12 blocks to his 18. 25 tackles to his 36. 100 clearances to keane’s 63. 87 aerial battles won to Keane’s 163 and 51 headed clearances to Keane’s 100. However Keane has played almost 600 more minutes than Zouma so apart from the last few stats there, I wouldn’t say there was too much difference considering Keane has had an excellent season in some Evertonians eyes. Also, I believe it is sometimes better to just go by what you see on the pitch and Zouma has been a big and important figure at the back. Sure, his performances have dropped a few times but apart from maybe Lucas Digne, I’d say everyone of our players’ have this season. He’s also bulleted two headers in for us, one being in a fantastic win against West Ham last week in which Zouma was excellent. It could even have been his best game for us so far in my opinion.

Zouma did suffer by not being able to play against his parent club earlier in the year with Yerry coming in and keeping him out the side. It didn’t last too long though and Kurt fought back his starting place which is also something to be admired.

Zouma had also found himself called up to the France squad twice during his time at Goodison. Another nod that he must be doing something right to be able to play for the World Cup winners.

If you ask so many Evertonians, I’m willing to bet the majority would like to bring Zouma in on a permanent deal. I, for one, would be in this camp as he seems settled here and his partnership with Michael Keane has blossomed as the season has gone on. Are we ready to break these two up? I stated in one of my previous articles that I would play Mina every game now until the end of the season but unfortunately, he got the old dreaded international duty injury. This was nothing to do with Kurt’s ability, but more due to the fact that it might be hard to keep Zouma in the summer. Chelsea have a transfer ban coming up and will not want to go backwards. Would they really want to sell a French international right now? One who might even be playing in their starting eleven next season. Everton however, are no strangers to signing players they have previously loaned. Barry, Deulofeu and Lukaku to name a few.

If Chelsea are willing to part, then I’d say around 30 million would be about the right price. As stated, he is only twenty-four and is going to likely get better, meaning we should have him for his prime years. This to me is why buying loan players isn’t actually standing still. They gel even more with the rest of the team they’ve been with for the season. It’s a no-brainer for me and if it isn’t meant to be, then I’d like to thank Kurt for giving us a chance and playing for the Everton jersey.

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