Stoke City head-coach Mark Hughes has lavished praise on Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma after the Chelsea loanee made an impression at the Bet365 stadium.
The French centre-back has agreed to spend the 2017/18 campaign in the Potteries after falling down the pecking order under Antonio Conte, and the Hughes has described the 22-year-old centre-back as a player who is worth £40m.
The 53-year-old manager is quoted by The Mirror as saying: “Kurt Zouma is a £30-40m centre-half. We can’t afford that, but in the loan market we can get him here so that’s a good thing. We have to do that because we’re not going to go into the market for a £60million player.
“It coincides with the World Cup, so wanting to play week-in, week-out would have been in his thinking. At one point I think he felt he needed to leave Chelsea because he wanted to play regularly but the contract he was offered tied him to them.”
The 22-year-old defender has already made seven starts for the Potters, although the centre-back was forced to miss a 4-0 loss to his club Chelsea following clause in his loan deal.