sport

Zouma: My time will come

Kurt Zouma is happy to be patient at Chelsea and is working hard to make sure that he will be ready when his chance comes.

Chelsea signed Zouma in January but allowed him to remain on loan with Saint-Etienne for the second half of last season.

He linked up with Jose Mourinho's squad in the summer but has found his route to the first team blocked by a number of established centre-backs already at the club.

The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the most promising young defenders in the game and hopes to go on to play at international level in the next couple of years, but he is staying calm about his current lack of action at Chelsea.

He told L'Equipe: "When I was at Saint-Etienne and I didn't play, I immediately got upset. But I learnt.

"Now there are senior players, stars in my position, and they are doing a great job. I take my time. I am learning besides those defenders. I know my time will come.

"Jose Mourinho told me: 'Rafael Varane, I made him start against Manchester City. You have to be ready to play at any moment'.

"I am using Varane and (Eliaquim) Mangala as role models. Nowadays they are in the French team and I hope to join them.

"Euro 2016 is an objective I set to myself. Even if it will be very difficult to get a position, the door is not so far away."

Zouma is enjoying life at Chelsea and has revealed that he has early become a target for the club's jokers.

He said: "Diego Costa is very, very crazy. Ivanovic makes a lot of jokes too.

"Afterwards the group laugh a little about my age because, well, I'm a big man for 19-years-old.

"Even the coach when we were going for the blood test jokingly said, 'Here, now we'll see if you lied about your age'.

"But really they're cool, easy."