Despite signing for Chelsea five years ago, Kurt Zouma only has 71 appearances to his name in the blue shirt.

Surplus to requirements under Maurizio Sarri this season, the defender was sent to Everton to get the minutes on the pitch he wouldn’t receive at Stamford Bridge, and, much like his campaign with Stoke City last year, things have rather gone well for the 24-year-old.

Starting regularly under Marco Silva, Zouma’s form at Goodison Park earned him a call-up back to the France national team, a first since he ruptured his knee ligaments back in 2016.

Was it a surprise for the player?

He told RMC Sport: “I wasn’t exactly expecting it, but it wasn’t a surprise either. It just shows that I’ve worked well. I was fine with my reserve list status at the World Cup. I had just come out of a season where Stoke were relegated. I stayed calm, I trained and I waited. I learned to be patient.

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“I think I got more mature. I had a lot of help from my teammates, my family, my entourage. I learned to put things into perspective. I’ve gone from an injury to being called up to the France team. I’m very happy. The Euros would be a great first. I hope to be there. Before it was a dream, not it’s a goal. It’s up to me to do the required job at club level.”

Unable to play against Chelsea in his side’s 2-0 win before the international break, Kurt Zouma will be as fresh as ever when he returns to the north of England, having failed to come off the bench against either Moldova or Iceland in the two Euro qualifiers this time around.

Next up for Everton: an important fixture against West Ham away on Saturday at 5.30pm.