West Ham have reportedly reopened talks to sign Kurt Zouma as Chelsea hold firm on the defender’s £25 million valuation.
According to the Evening Standard, West Ham United have revived their interest in the Chelsea star and have already started preliminary talks over a possible deal for the French defender.
The Hammers have already been left disappointed with their earlier transfer pursuit for the 26-year-old turned out to be an unsuccessful one owing to Irons unwillingness to meet Chelsea’s £25 million valuation and players monstrous wage expectation. Zouma, himself, was said to be reluctant to make the cross-London switch.
Zouma was a regular feature for the Bleus under Frank Lampard, impressing with his remarkable heading ability. However, the midseason arrival of Thomas Tuchel saw him get pushed down the pecking order with Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta all favoured ahead of the Frenchman. Zouma only made 24 league appearances in 2020/21, but astonishingly, he netted five times; most were headed goals.
The European Champions most recently attempted to include Zouma in their pursuit of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, but a disagreement with the La Liga club over the player’s valuation meant that they now only want a straight cash sale; observing these speculations, it’s fair to say that he’s got no future left at Stamford Bridge and perhaps the apt time has come for Zouma to move on for the betterment of his career.
As for West Ham, they have got some major defensive issues. Fabian Balbuena has already departed the London Stadium, which has left David Moyes with Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop and Craig Dawson as his only central defensive options.
Last campaign, the Hammers conceded 47 goals in 38 games and were leaky at times. The current defensive roster lacks depth, youthfulness and energy. Also, Ogbonna and Dawson are on the wrong side of their thirties. As a result, the Irons are actively scouring the market for centre-halves’ and have been linked to Zouma and Duje Caleta-Car while they are close to agreeing a transfer for Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic.
Zouma is a strong and athletic defender who is comfortable at playing out from the back and progressing the ball to push the team forwards. He has an admirable range of passing in his locker last campaign; he averaged 74 passes per game with an astounding 90% accuracy; these include around four accurate long-balls.
Zouma has got immense experience of playing in the Premier League, having made a combined 165 appearances at different clubs. He can form a solid defensive duo with Issa Diop or play in a back-three if required.
The 26-year-old would represent a quality acquisition for the Hammers and would resolve their key defensive issues. What now remains to be seen is whether or not West Ham improve on their previous offer to bring the Zouma to London Stadium.