Frank Lampard has finally addressed the future of Kurt Zouma at Chelsea.
The centre-back's future at the club had been uncertain for some amount of time before the new manager finally expressed his intentions in a press conference after suffering his first loss as Chelsea manager to Kawasaki Frontale.
Ultimately, the overwhelming consensus is that the Frenchman will not be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer amid some heavy interest from fellow Premier League side Everton.
Zouma spent last season on loan with the Toffees and quickly established himself as a fan favourite at Goodison prompting Marco Silva to make the player one of the club’s biggest transfer targets.
In fact, the Portuguese manager admitted earlier in the month that Zouma would be welcomed back to the club with wide-open arms should he or indeed Chelsea look that way.
Despite having more than sufficient firepower in that position in David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen as well as more than a few youngsters looking to state their claim, Lampard wants Zouma to stay put.
"In terms of Kurt Zouma, he's a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional," Lampard told reporters. "I want him here, simple as that.
"We are competitive with the centre-backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton, and I can understand why they want him. He's a Chelsea player and I want him. I want him to be happy and he's working really hard.
"If he competes for a position and plays well, he plays."
Last season at Everton, Zouma made more interceptions and won more aerial duels than any of the other Chelsea centre-halves. He also recorded the joint-most assist from any Chelsea centre-back- tied with Luiz.
In fact - across the board - Luiz and Zouma were the best performing centre-backs that Chelsea own in the Premier League last season. Out of the four, the two are also most experienced central defenders with 160 and 113 appearances respectively.
After appearing in Chelsea’s pre-season already, Lampard may implement Zouma into this Chelsea team that seems to be competing for places all over the park.