Kurt Zouma was one of three good central defensive performers for Stoke City against Manchester United on Saturday.

Alongside Geoff Cameron and new-boy Kevin Wimmer, Zouma was a reliable rock for Mark Hughes’ side and the three helped transport their manager’s tactical plan from whiteboard to pitch.

As they so often did last season, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United ran out of ideas against Stoke City and were unable to get a winner. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was the headline star of Stoke’s performance, scoring twice in a 2-2 draw, but it’s Zouma who receives recognition from Gazzetta dello Sport.

Each week the Italian newspaper pick out an eleven of the best performers around Europe. This week there’s three Premier League players in the selection, and Zouma is in a three man defence.

On loan from Chelsea, Zouma joined Hughes’ central defender contingent, which was then added to further. Should Stoke continue to play three at the back as well as they did against Manchester United then it’s clear why Hughes needed so much strength there.

After the match, Mourinho said it was a game needing someone like Marouane Fellaini, but even the big Belgian would have found it hard going against Zouma, Cameron, and Wimmer.