Tuchel comments on Zouma's Chelsea future amid West Ham links
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Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma does not deserve to be the highest-paid player at West Ham, according to former Tottenham striker Darren Bent. Zouma is wanted by West Ham before the end of the summer transfer window. But the Frenchman’s high wage demands are preventing a deal from going through.
Zouma hasn’t played a minute for Chelsea in their first two games of the Premier League season.
Academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah appears to be ahead of him in Thomas Tuchel’s pecking order after starting the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on the opening day.
The Athletic claims West Ham have an agreement with Chelsea to sign Zouma for around £25.7million.
However, the former Stoke and Everton loanee wants to earn around £125,000 a week at the London Stadium.
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That would make him the highest earner and Bent does not feel he warrants that demand.
“Listen, it might [upset the West Ham players],” Bent said on talkSPORT.
“I get it’s a premium, he’s coming from Chelsea so that’s why he’s trying to command them kind of figures.
“But at the same time I don’t think he’s earned the right in terms of performances on the pitch.
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“You look at some of the superstars from last season – [Michail] Antonio, Thomas Soucek, Declan Rice, Craig Dawson, one to 11.
“If he comes in and says ‘I want to be the highest-paid player’, if I’m one of the other players in the dressing room, I’m kind of asking the question ‘well why?’.
“I know he’s coming from Chelsea but I wouldn’t say his performances over the last couple of seasons have seen him deserved to be the highest-paid player at West Ham.”
West Ham made it two wins from two on Monday with a 4-1 win over 10-man Leicester.
Manager David Moyes doesn’t want to get carried away but says the atmosphere reminded him of days at Upton Park.
Moyes said: “We’ve got to keep calm, but it’s incredible with the noise you can hear and it’s 40 minutes after the game now, but you can still hear people singing outside. It gives you an idea of what it meant to them.
“I managed other teams at Upton Park and I remember the nights there and how noisy it was. Tonight, I thought it was right up there – it was a great atmosphere.
“I’ve got to say, I think the players deserve it. The performances last year merited good backing no matter what happened and the fans probably saw a new team in the flesh tonight.
“You might find it hard to get a ticket for this place now in the coming months, that’s for sure.”
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