Kurt Zouma: I feel like I’ve been here many years already


Kurt Zouma says he feels like he’s been around the West Ham United team for ‘many years already’ after settling in quickly following his late-August move from Chelsea.

The 26-year-old France centre-back made his debut in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League victory over Rapid Vienna and will be hoping to feature when the Hammers return to Premier League action against Manchester United on Sunday.

His team will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign, and know they would leapfrog the Red Devils in the early table with victory at London Stadium, so Zouma says there is no bigger incentive.

“I’m settling in very well,” the No4 confirmed. “I’ve met some top guys here, top players too and I feel like I’ve been here for many years already.

“The competition is hard here and you need to fight for your place, and we have a team that can challenge for everything. We have to take it game-by-game and the manager has just said that we need to keep enjoying playing football. 

“We deserve to be the Europa League because we had a great season last year, and we just need to keep going, not get too over-confident and do the job that we need to do to win games.”

The Hammers head into Sunday’s contest having registered back-to-back clean sheets – in last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Southampton and in Croatia in midweek – and Zouma believes they can meet the challenge of facing Cristiano Ronaldo et al head on.

He added: “I think we could have won the game at Southampton last week, but it was a tight one. After the internationals many players had travelled straight back, but the clean sheet was very important and the team has started well. We’re undefeated and kept that clean sheet, so we just need to keep going.

“We know that Ronaldo is a big star, he’s one of the best players in the world and we are looking forward [to the test]. Being in these kind of games is always good and you have to take your chance.

“We’re at home, the fans will be right behind us and hopefully we will make them happy and ourselves happy too.”


Rapid Vienna tickets now on sale