Transfer deadline day: Premier League round-up
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has revealed that he was left puzzled by Thomas Tuchel’s decision to sanction the sale of Kurt Zouma to West Ham United last month. The 26-year-old made the switch across to east London in a move intended to allow the Blues to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
West Ham paid a fee in the region of £31million for Zouma, who spent seven years at Stamford Bridge after joining Chelsea in 2014.
He was David Moyes’ top defensive target and will be expected to use his Champions League-winning experience in helping the Hammers to seal another top-six finish this season.
It was claimed that Chelsea decided to sell Zouma in order to facilitate a move for Kounde, who was pursued by the club throughout the summer window.
The 22-year-old reportedly agreed personal terms with the Blues but Sevilla were adamant that he would not leave for anything less than his release clause, which is believed to be in the region of £77m.
The two clubs were unable to agree on a deal before Tuesday’s deadline, meaning that Chelsea were ultimately left empty-handed.
JUST IN: Arsenal chief Edu on transfer concerns and pressure to sack Arteta
Tuchel will now be forced to rely on young defender Trevoh Chalobah to provide cover at the back until January at least.
Johnson, who played for both Chelsea and West Ham during his professional career, has since expressed his shock at the former’s decision to part ways with Zouma.
He suggested to The Metro that Tuchel’s willingness to sell the Frenchman may have been influenced by a private rift or disagreement between the pair.
“As a West Ham guy, I’m delighted that they’ve signed him [Zouma] and I think it’s a great deal,” said Johnson.
“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.”
FOLLOW OUR NEW DAILY EXPRESS SPORT INSTAGRAM PAGE HERE
Zouma is expected to make his debut for West Ham against Southampton in their first Premier League outing after the international break on September 11.
His absence will likely be felt at Chelsea over the coming months after their failure to land a new defender over the summer.
Chalobah has impressed when called upon this season but is still raw due to a lack of first-team experience, with another move for Kounde in the mid-season window potentially on the cards.
The Sevilla man is reportedly furious with his current employers for refusing to sell him to Chelsea and looks to be unsettled at the club.
He received a straight red card while playing for France after a horror tackle on Bosnia’s Sead Kolasinac on Thursday evening, adding further fuel to the fire.
Source: Read Full Article