Stoke City have signed Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
The defender signed a new six-year contract at his parent club before making the switch to Staffordshire.
The 22-year old completed his Stoke medical earlier in the week, where he was pictured and rumours circulated on social media that he was due to join the club.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes said: “Kurt is undoubtedly one of the most talented young defenders in the game, so naturally his arrival will enhance our playing squad for the forthcoming campaign.”
Hughes, understandably delighted with the move, said: “We have prioritised adding further strength in depth to defensive positions this summer, and we have certainly done that by fending off any number of clubs who were all interested in taking Kurt on loan.”
Zouma had been tracked by Hughes for some time, with the Welsh manager admitting that he tried to sign the Frenchman when he was 17 and playing St. Etienne.
Zouma is still on the comeback from a knee injury, to which Hughes commented: “Injury unfortunately hampered his progress at Chelsea last season, we are certain that we can give him the platform to recapture the form he showed prior to his setback.”
How is Stoke’s squad taking shape?
Zouma has become Stoke’s third summer signing, following Darren Fletcher and Josh Tymon to the bet365 Stadium.
Hughes said the plan was to add strength in depth to defensive roles, and he has certainly done that so far, but work isn’t done yet.
Zouma will provide a good partner for club captain Ryan Shawcross, but the club has failed to re-sign Bruno Martins Indi following a successful loan spell last season and another centre-back is needed.
With Marko Arnautovic seemingly on his way to West Ham United in what would be a club-record sale for Stoke, that money needs to come back into the squad.
A direct replacement for Arnautovic may not be needed though, as many think that Egyptian winger Ramadan Sobhi is ready to step up.
However, signing Zouma is absolutely a step in the right direction.