On-loan Zouma ‘very happy’ at Everton but unsure what future holds
Kurt Zouma is happy at Everton but admits he will not consider his long-term future until the end of the season.
The on-loan Chelsea centre-back has been the most consistent performer in an up and down campaign for Marco Silva’s side and has become a key man in their defence.
Zouma has made 23 starts, which would have been at least two more had he not been ineligible to play against his parent club, and has developed a good partnership with fellow centre-back Michael Keane.
Everton want to keep the 24-year-old France international but the final decision will ultimately be Chelsea’s and Zouma’s.
“I don’t know yet. We have five more games to play and then we will see,” said Zouma when asked about his future.
“I am very happy. My aim was to come and play and improve myself and I think I have done here. I hope we will finish the season very high.”
Zouma had a new partner on Sunday in Phil Jagielka, a late replacement for the ill Keane minutes before kick-off against Arsenal, and was impressed as the club captain scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory.
It was Everton’s third successive win and they have also kept five clean sheets in the last six matches despite the defence set-up changing regularly.
“We have more confidence and every one defends as a unit. Now everyone understands each other,” added Zouma.
“We hold the ball a bit better, we are more compact as a team as we defend together and attack together.
“We are confident, are playing forward more and are playing better and we believe, but the season hasn’t finished yet so we have go again next week and get a win.
“It wasn’t difficult (to play with the change) because we’re used to working hard in training altogether.
“The manager mixes defenders and we all know each other. Playing for the first time with the skipper has been good for me and he brings good experience for us: me, Michael and Yerry Mina so we try to take all the experience he has.
“And his first goal in the Premier League this season was very important.”