Glen Johnson has expressed his surprise at Chelsea’s decision to sell Kurt Zouma to West Ham United, suggesting a possible rift between player and manager.
When they signed Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan, Chelsea made headlines and were pushing to add a top draw defender to their ranks before the transfer window closed. Although talks broke down late in August, the club were extremely close to signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
The Blues operated around stringent financial machinery, as they sold some first-team stars to pursue top targets. One of those players happened to be Kurt Zouma. After seven years, the French defender left the club to join West Ham United for a deal worth a reported £31 million.
The Blues were hoping to use the money from the sale to fund the Kounde move. However, Sevilla deemed Chelsea’s latest offer too late and demanded the Premier League side pay the Frenchman’s £77 million release clause to sign him. The Champions League holders did not budge, stalling any potential move.
With the Kounde deal off and Zouma sold to West Ham, Thomas Tuchel will likely rely on Trevoh Chalobah to provide central defensive over, at least until January. Former Liverpool and Chelsea star Glen Johnson was surprised West Ham could pull a deal for Zouma.
More so, the former England international was shocked at Chelsea’s decision to sell the French defender to their London rivals. The Express posted quotes from Johnson as he spoke to Betting odds regarding this particular transfer.
Johnson said, “As a West Ham guy, I’m delighted that they’ve signed him [Zouma], and I think it’s a great deal. He’s a good player, a young player and is super athletic. He’s a bubbly guy, too, so I reckon the West Ham lads would be really happy to have him with them.
“From a Chelsea perspective, I’m surprised they’ve sold him. There clearly must be something between him and Thomas Tuchel because otherwise, they wouldn’t have let him go, even though I don’t know that personally. He’s a very good player, and for him to turn up at West Ham is ideal for the Hammers.”