Signing Kurt Zouma will cement West Ham United’s place in the Premier League’s top eight and beyond. The deal proves their intentions, backs their credentials and significantly improves their backline, making it look more and more like one capable of securing a permanent place in European football.
Kurt Zouma Signing Will Cement West Ham’s Place in Top Eight
Avoiding Past Mistakes
West Ham fans are some of the most pessimistic about. They daren’t get their hopes up, scarred by previous collapses in quests for European football. But they always face that fear, they always end up with the anticipation all underdogs have after that one win to really make people stand up.
The problem is, up until last season, West Ham were the ‘half a season team’. Usually, it all went downhill after Christmas, that was just the West Ham way. But something changed last season. A switch was flipped; a new, braver, Hammers side emerged. They went past obstacle after obstacle, leaped over hurdle after hurdle and, before we knew it, they were very-nearly in a Champions League place. The fact that some were left disappointed with a Europa League spot paints the entire picture of just how good a campaign it was.
They’ve been here before, however. Just cast your minds back to the final season at Upton Park. Slaven Billic took the Hammers into the Europa League just to suffer a knock out blow in the Third Round. To make matters worse, a year later, Dimitri Payet left and a replacement never really arrived. And, so, predictably, West Ham fell neatly into the small mid-table box many believe they belong. But that’s where they’re wrong. David Moyes has burst that box open, torn it apart, and thrown it away, hoping to never see it again.
The system has changed at the London club; there is no longer just one star man, there is a handful, all ready to prove any doubters wrong. Every compartment of the team features a star thanks to a mixture of long-term standouts and arrivals such as Kurt Zouma. It is not just a squad for one season of success; it is a squad with years ahead of it that could jump ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
Zouma an Example of Cutthroat Nature at Chelsea
It’s hard to find a time when Kurt Zouma put a serious foot wrong in a Chelsea shirt. After loan spells at the likes of Everton, where he impressed many, the Frenchman arrived back at Stamford Bridge and took his chance under Frank Lampard and, when given the opportunity, also impressed under Thomas Tuchel. In all honesty, it was simply a case of the shoe not fitting under Tuchel. The manager will have nothing bad to say about the defender. He just didn’t fit the system. Whilst it’s unfortunate for Zouma, that’s just football.
Tammy Abraham suffered the same fate, and others will undoubtedly follow. Since arriving in London, it’s been a case of what Tuchel wants, Tuchel gets and, if he doesn’t want you, then, to put it simply, it’s likely time to find a new club. Some may criticise the tactic, but it will work, the super team has been built, and it will have success. Meanwhile, the likes of Zouma and Abraham will undoubtedly have success elsewhere.
Kurt Zouma Adds Finishing Touches to West Ham Squad
Prior to signing Kurt Zouma, West Ham lacked a dominant, quick, central defender with experience at the very top. Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna do a fine job, yes, but that’s not to say improvements couldn’t be made. And Zouma brings that improvement. He adds the finishing touches to the West Ham squad, which now features a touch of class in ever position.
The frontline features recent record-breaker Michail Antonio. Meanwhile, the midfield features the always-improving Said Benrahma, Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. Now, to add the icing on the cake, the backline has Zouma, Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal to call upon.
Most crucially, Zouma adds something that the Hammers lacked. Whilst Dawson provides an experienced option, who can take the leadership role and act dominant in the air, he lacks the necessary recovery pace, long-range passing ability, which can be crucial to any side looking to break at a moments notice, and ball-playing ability of Kurt Zouma.
The fact is, Zouma is a significant upgrade on Dawson. Just last season, the Frenchman played 525 forward passes in the Premier League compared to Dawson’s 304. The difference a forward-passing central defender can make is astounding. Using Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip an examples, without them, Liverpool struggled to create chances against low-block sides, as the likes of Nat Phillips do not possess the ability to break through the initial press. The same can be said for Craig Dawson.
With Zouma, West Ham go up a level, both offensively and defensively. The deal, worth £30 million, may well go down as one of the bargains of the summer in the Premier League.
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