French defender Kurt Zouma is being linked with a move from St Etienne to the Premier League with both Chelsea and Arsenal thought to be interested in signing the 18-year-old.
He’s undoubtedly a very talented defender but a move to either club has positives which Zouma must weigh up before he makes a decision over which direction to take when the transfer window opens up next week.
The obvious benefit of going to Chelsea is that it represents the chance for Zouma to work with Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho showed with Raphael Varane at Real Madrid last season that if he thinks a player is good enough, he doesn’t have a problem throwing that player into the deep end, regardless of his age.
Zouma is also more likely to get a taste of success early on during his Chelsea career than if he goes to North London with the Gunners.
Chelsea are under pressure to win back the Premier League title in the new season but they have a consistent history of winning trophies, regardless of the fact the manager turnover at the club has been significantly high.
Another slight benefit for Zouma in joining Chelsea is that his progression to the first team should be much quicker, especially if David Luiz moves into a defensive midfield position.
A move to Arsenal should be appealing because of Arsene Wenger’s ability to develop and transform players.
He has slightly less work to do with Zouma because he’s already a well established defender but Wenger can turn him into the sort of player who may end up possibly leading a defence.
You only have to look at the examples of Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny to understand the sort of impact Wenger can have on defenders who are coming into English football for the first time.
The worry for Zouma, just as it would be at Chelsea, is getting a chance in the first team because Arsenal will be under a lot more pressure than other big sides in many ways next season.
The club have been very open and almost boastful over the financial power they currently have, which means they need to win something to pacify the fans and the board members.
That ensures when Zouma gets a first team chance, he has to play well because there will be widespread criticism of epic proportions as the club could have gone and signed a much higher profile and more experienced defender.