Kurt Zouma's Chelsea career was put on hold in 2016 after a horrific leg injury against Manchester United, and that subsequently put him from a first-team regular in the Blues' side, to a man out of the picture and appearing to be heading out the door. 

The Frenchman had a loan spell at Stoke City, and then to Everton last season and he flourished. 32 appearances for the Toffees saw him become a crowd favourite, and Marco Silva wanted to keep hold of the 25-year-old on a permanent basis. 

But Chelsea and Frank Lampard didn't let that happen, despite the strong interest and the Blues boss has revealed why he didn't let go of the central defender. 

"He has been fantastic," Lampard said on Zouma's performances this season. "There was a belief that I had in Kurt because there was interest in the summer after we all know he had a very good loan at Everton last year. But I believed in him as I believed in Tomori.

"That is why I made the decisions I made pre-season in terms of where we were going to look defensively. It has been nice to get some stability, albeit because of injuries, between him and Fikayo in the last games.

"It has been good to get them playing together to see the little bond they are getting on and off the pitch. It is a nice little story and it must continue, I suppose."

Kurt Zouma has featured nine times for the Blues this season in the Premier League - missing just one game against Brighton in September.

Kurt Zouma has featured nine times for the Blues this season in the Premier League - missing just one game against Brighton in September.

Zouma has been round in and around the game for many years, joining Chelsea at just the age of 19 in 2014. 

His fellow defender Fikayo Tomori who has also been heavily praised by Frank Lampard, revealed the difference between Frank Lampard and the rest of his previous managers. 

"It was difficult to have much personal contact with the previous managers. But now we have a manager who knows the youth-team players and understands what it takes to be here at Chelsea."