Everton have completed the signing of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea on a season-long loan.
The Blues secured a late in the day loan move for Zouma on Deadline Day after having to send in a deal sheet to the Premier League to grant them an extension.
Zouma took part in part of his medical in London before being allowed to complete his temporary move to Merseyside on Friday afternoon.
Everton boss Marco Silva confirmed in his pre-match press conference that a deal for Zouma was ‘close’ but wasn’t fully over the line.
The 23-year-old defender, who spent last season on loan at Stoke City, found himself without a shirt number at Chelsea following pre-season. After losing his number five shirt to Chelsea new boy Jorginho, he will now don that number for Everton.
Zouma will now have the chance to line-up alongside fellow Everton new boy Yerry Mina after the Colombian signed from Barcelona before Thursday’s deadline.
However, neither are expected to take part in Saturday’s opening day game against Wolves at Molineux.
Securing Mina and Zouma will have no doubt delighted Blues boss Silva who made clear his intentions to bolster his backline before the transfer deadline, following poor defensive play in a number of his sides pre-season games.
Silva made it clear that he wanted to sign at least one new centre-half but during last Saturday’s final friendly against Valencia, the Portuguese boss was visibly frustrated by how his side let the Spanish opposition scored with their first two attacks.
The Blues splashed out big on Michael Keane last summer but a stop-start debut campaign coupled with a poor pre-season has led to the £30 million man not being guaranteed to start in the coming weeks.
Captain Phil Jagielka is starting to look like a player who will turn 36 before the visit of Southampton next weekend.
Mason Holgate has been sidelined through injury and the Blues will be desperate to get him back as he continues his progress as a central defender at the Premier League level.
Against Wolves, the Blues are likely to start with Keane and Jagielka as their central pairing but that won’t last long as Silva will want to bed in his new signings as quickly as possible.