Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has opened up on an exchange with former manager Jose Mourinho which left him ‘shocked’ but left him wanting to prove the Portuguese coach wrong.
The 25-year-old went onto play a further 48 games under Mourinho before the coach was shown the door in December 2015
The French defender played under Mourinho as a teenager at Stamford Bridge and gave him his Chelsea debut in a 2-1 League Cup win over Bolton, a game in which Zouma scored his first goal for the club.
Mourinho brought Zouma as a 19-year-old to Stamford Bridge from St Etienne in 2014.
Following a performance he was not impressed with, the Portuguese called Zouma into his office and gave him a dressing down.
“I cannot remember which match we were playing, we were losing 3-1, away from home. The following day, he [Mourinho] catches up with me, he takes me to his office, and he asks me if I am ok. I said yes, he asked me if I was sure.
“I said yes again, he replied ‘Because you were rubbish this weekend.’ Like that, direct. It shocked me, but it made me want to immediately respond on the pitch,” Zouma told RMC Sport.
From that time, Zouma has been sent on loan deals to Stoke City and Everton. However, this season he has become a mainstay for Frank Lampard’s team.
Zouma is expected to be in Chelsea’s starting XI when they host Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League next week.