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Chelsea U23 Coach Says Zouma Is Ready For First Team

Chelsea’s development coach believes Kurt Zouma is ready to step up to the first team, after helping him on his road to fitness.

The 23-year-old defender tore his ACL in February against Manchester United and completed his first 90 minutes since when he helped Chelsea beat Oxford United on penalties on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Adi Viveash has had Zouma in his ranks to build up his match fitness ahead of a return to the first team for his last two Premier League 2 matches and thinks that the France international is ready for his next step.

“I’d say he is ready to train with you [Conte], yes,” he told a press conference at Stamford Bridge. “He has been a privilege to work with, he is a fine young player, he has been tremendous with the boys, he works very, very hard every day.

“He has been really good and he gives good advice, but you have still got to remember that he is very young and he has now got to get into a defence that is performing excellently at the minute but what he does do is that he gives the manager another quality player and that, I imagine, is important for his squad.

“I would imagine [that he will return soon to the first team], he has trained with them a few days of last week then going into this game he came back with us on Sunday, two days before this. He did a few days with them and he did a few days a week before.

“He is building up and the manager is getting to look at him. He is getting closer and I think he is waiting to see if he gets through 90 and now we will see if there are any problems with the knee tomorrow.

“He will come in and cool down and then after Thursday he will train with the players that have not gone on international duty.”

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