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Everton's Zouma not giving up on Chelsea career

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By Reuters
Everton's Zouma not giving up on Chelsea career
FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Crystal Palace - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - May 5, 2018 Stoke City's Kurt Zouma reacts after the match as they are relegated from the Premier League REUTERS/Peter Powell   -   Copyright  PETER POWELL(Reuters)

(Reuters) – French defender Kurt Zouma is confident of playing for Chelsea in the near future despite agreeing to a season-long loan with Everton in search of regular first-team football.

The 23-year-old secured a temporary move to Goodison Park last month, a year after signing a new six-year deal with Chelsea.

“I will go back, yes,” Zouma told British media. “I have always believed in myself since I started playing football at 16. I have always wanted to show myself at Chelsea since I have been there.

“I want to show people I can come back and play there. That’s why I need some game time at Everton here because they are a good team.”

Zouma, who spent last season at Stoke City, said new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri agreed to the temporary switch only because there had been a surplus of centre-back options at Stamford Bridge.

“I knew I needed to play regularly so I didn’t want to stay on the bench and wait for my chance after two or three months,” he added.

“He (Sarri) agreed with me. I spoke with him and I knew at Chelsea they had five central defenders already.”

Zouma will be looking to force his way into the starting lineup under Marco Silva at Everton, with Michael Keane out having suffered a hairline skull fracture and Phil Jagielka suspended.

“I have come here to play and I want to take the opportunity the manager has given me,” Zouma said.

“We played well in the three games, especially with the away games with 10 men. The spirit is good. With the players we have, we can do something.”

Everton, who are unbeaten in the Premier League after three matches this season, host Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)