Zouma explains Tuchel role in Chelsea departure
Kurt Zouma has explained how the arrival of Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea was behind his move to West Ham in the summer.
Zouma was signed for £29.8million and has impressed having made the move across London.
The French international was a regular under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge but found game time hard to come by following the arrival of Tuchel.
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The German boss openly admitted that he favoured Antonio Rudiger due to his knowledge of the defender.
“Since day one we chose him in the first match, it was an unfair decision against Kurt, but he is German and I had a clear picture of what he can do because I followed him a bit more than Kurt Zouma,” Tuchel explained said back in May.
“So it was an unfair decision and I had a clear picture of what I can ask of him and what he is capable of delivering to a team.
“He took the chance and since then it is absolutely well deserved that he is in the team.
“He is kind of an aggressive leader, has a natural aggression in him, hates to lose, hard to beat in duals, very very brave and full of energy in defending.
“He’s leading by example, has a positive aggression, this is what we like and when he can channel all this into top performances we are very happy to have him.”
Zouma has opened up on the effect Tuchel had on him at Chelsea, explaining that there are no hard feelings – it’s just part of football.
Zouma told the Evening Standard: “Things happen. It is destiny. A new manager came in and he made choices and everything was working well for us. I wasn’t in the starting XI as often as I would expect to be. This is the manager’s choice and he made them right, obviously. As a player I have to accept it. This is in the past.
“I spoke to the manager of West Ham and he convinced me to come and join this beautiful team. I spoke to the manager and it wasn’t very long, but what he said to me was his views for me and it was very clear.
“You know when you have that conversation with the manager it gives you confidence, it gives you a big boost and that is what I needed and that is why I came here.
“What they did last year was just brilliant. They deserved where they finished, playing in the Europa League, that’s where I think West Ham should be playing every year and that’s the target now.
“This is a club with big ambitions. We know that the Premier League is going to be difficult, there are many, many teams that can compete for the Champions League and Europa League — obviously, West Ham are one of those teams.”