Kurt Zouma
Zouma was signed by Chelsea during the January transfer window.

Kurt Zouma is hopeful of being handed a role in the Chelsea first team season following his arrival at the club.

Zouma, 19, completed his move from Saint Etienne during the January transfer window in a deal worth a reported £12m but the Blues allowed the centre half to remain at the Ligue 1 club until the end of the season.

Having garnered a reputation as one of the brightest defensive prospects in Europe Zouma had no shortage of offers before deciding to join Chelsea and already has a number of clubs interested in taking him on loan next season.

Monaco, who attempted to sign the defender outright in January, have been credited with interest in a temporary move while Gus Poyet's Sunderland are also keen.

But following his arrival at the Chelsea's Cobham training ground for pre-season, Zouma has indicated he is eager to make an instant impact at Stamford Bridge.

When asked of his hopes for his first season in England he told the club's official website: "Initially it will be a period of adaption but I hope I can improve as a player, get into the team and just play as many matches as possible.

Zouma also stressed he is eager to test himself in the Champions League. "I think it will be crucial in terms of my development. It is the biggest competition in club football and hopefully I will be involved."

Zouma's physicality and his outstanding defensive attributes have seen him identified as John Terry's long-term successor at the heart of the Blues defence. The club captain enjoyed an excellent campaign last season which earned him a new one year deal and Zouma is thrilled to have the opportunity to play alongside one of his favourite players.

"My favourite footballers as a kid were John Terry and Mamadou Sakho," he continued. "Terry is a great leader and the perfect example to young players starting out in the game.

"It's very exciting for me (to be a teammate of Terry's). I've always looked up to him as a player and now I just want to learn as much as possible from him. I spoke to him briefly and he's a very nice man."