Kurt Zouma has lifted the lid on his reasons for quitting Chelsea to join West Ham this summer – and has revealed the role David Moyes played in convincing him to join the Hammers.
The defender moved to the Hammers in a reported £25m switch with days left in the summer transfer window. The 26-year-old appeared to have lost his way at Chelsea following Thomas Tuchel’s arrival earlier this year and needed a change to kickstart his career.
After an initial slow start to the season, the move now appears to have been vindicated with Zouma finding his feet. Indeed, having debuted in the impressive win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League, Zouma has since faced Manchester United and Leeds in the Premier League.
At the time of his signing, Moyes declared Zouma his “first choice summer target”. And having seen what he’s brought to the Hammers, the feeling appears mutual.
Explaining his decision to leave Chelsea and join the Hammers, Zouma believes he has settled in extremely quickly.
“The integration? I get along well with everyone,” he told Canal Plus. “Honestly, I’m someone who talks to everyone.”
Asked why he quit the European champions to join the Hammers and Zouma had a blunt, five-word response.
“I needed to play more,” he said.
“Obviously I was in a team that was doing really well. Coming here has allowed me to compete more to play. It’s a club that wants to progress and grow. And I want to be part of this project.”
Moyes key to Zouma transfer
Zouma admits he was impressed by the history of West Ham and the progress they made under Moyes last season.
Furthermore, he admits the Scot played a big role in convincing him to move to the London Stadium.
“What already seduced me is the club. I think it’s a good club that is making great progress,” Zouma added.
“They did an exceptional job last year to qualify for the Europa League. And there, we will have a difficult group, we can do something this year.
“The fact of having spoken with the manager, who helped me a lot and convinced me, who showed me that he wanted me. He thinks that I will bring more to the team, from my experience. I’ve been in England for a long time, and I’m in the France squad so it’s true that I can bring all my defensive and offensive quality.”
His defensive colleague Angello Ogbonna is also delighted to be playing alongside the ten-times capped France international.
“It’s good to have Kurt here, he’s strong in the air, he’s a good leader,” Ogbonna told WHUTV. “He came from a big club like Chelsea and is used to this kind of game, European games. He can control and read the game.”