France national team manager Dedier Deschamps has attributed Kurt Zouma’s form at Chelsea as the reason why he dropped RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano.
Zouma has been in great form for Chelsea since the arrival of his current partner Thiago Silva from PSG in the summer.
In addition to Zouma helping Chelsea to 5 consecutive clean sheets, the centre-back has also scored 3 league goals this season.
His form has not gone unnoticed, with France manager Didier Deschamps favouring him ahead of Dayot Upamecano who was dropped from the France squad for upcoming matches to accommodate the 26-year-old.
“There is significant competition for Dayot Upamecano,” he said, as quoted by Tribal Football.
“He did some good things with us, he’s in a less good time. He can always do better, he admits, there was an element of emotion when he came in September and October. He is a young player who has the potential, he plays a lot of games.
“If it’s not him (who drops off the list), it’s someone else. In this case, there is competition and Kurt Zouma is very good at the moment with Chelsea. The door is not closed, I am making this choice today because it seems logical to me.”
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard also praised Zouma who has formed a solid partnership with Thiago Silva.
“I’ve been really impressed with Kurt, his form and what he’s giving us, scoring and defending from set-pieces, which is a big part of our game,” he said.
“I think Thiago can affect people around him. I think of his status in the game and the way he plays it.
“We talk about partnerships in the team. We can all think of great centre-back partnerships. With Thiago’s quality it rubs off not only on Kurt but any player he is paired with.
“I think he’s helped Kurt and we now need to sustain that level of performance and keep the good run of clean sheets we’re on going. He’s certainly affecting the others.”
The pair are likely to start at the heart of Chelsea’s defence against Sheffield United later today as the Blues hope to extend their clean-sheet run to 6.