Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has explained selling Kurt Zouma to London rivals, West Ham.
Tuchel has explained the reasons behind allowing Zouma to leave for West Ham in the summer – insisting he wanted the defender to stay and fight for his place.
“We replaced him with Trevoh (Chalobah) because we had the faith and trust in him. Until this moment, we could not allow him to go because of course we are selfish and have to see that we have a strong squad,” he said.
“But we have to see the situation of Kurt also and his point of view. He is a strong player, an experienced Premier League player. He suffered from the decision for us with (Cesar) Azpi in the back three, with Andreas (Christensen) in the back three, Toni (Rudiger) in the back three, as direct competitors to his place.
“So he did not get enough minutes for his status or his quality and where he wants to be in this time of his career.
“We had many talks about it in pre-season where we reflected on his position and our position. The more we got to know Trevoh we thought maybe if Kurt has a constant wish to go…
“For many, many weeks there was not an awful lot of interest in him. I made it clear, I love Kurt, I told him ‘I love you, we don’t have to have these talks. I am happy for you to stay even if Trevoh comes in.’
“I was happy for him to stay. He is a top-quality player and could have stayed to fight for his place. And you always have a chance to play, but it’s hard competition.
“He accepted it. Then very late this offer came from West Ham. So we had this talk and he decided this is an offer that might be the perfect for him.
“We took a bit of a risk to fully trust Trevoh because we did not know at the moment if he could reach the consistent levels and I think we got rewarded.”