Kurt Zouma says that he wants to repay West Ham fans for their support during a tough period.

There’s no denying that Zouma has had to overcome a lot during his time in East London. Like most of his career, it’s been plagued with injuries and he’s had to develop massively as a person.

Last year, the centre back had a damning video of him abusing his cat leaked to the public. The behaviour on display is inexcusable and led to him being fined as well as having to complete 180 hours of community service.

While he’s far from the victim, understandably it’s had a massive impact on his life. “It’s been a tough time for me and for my family,” Zouma admitted to the Evening Standard. “We’ve been through a lot. I made a mistake, I know — I made a bad one. I have to say sorry again for what I’ve done, but life is about moving on.”

The French defender has always owned up to the mistake and understood the importance of accepting whatever punishment came his way. He stated how the support of “my wife and my kids, my family, everybody around me, even at the club, the lads, the fans, people have helped me through everything.”

This resilience isn’t just something he displays off the pitch, he has had countless setbacks through injury but with almost all of them, he’s defied odds and made himself available for selection ahead of schedule. 

The fans have always been right behind Kurt, shouting ‘Zouuu!’ everytime he wins the ball. “It means a lot to me, hearing the fans scream my name,” he said. “It gives you extra motivation, you want to win every duel.”

Zouma has been absolutely outstanding for West Ham and he was key to their success in Europe over the last two seasons. Most notably, he was vital to the defensive masterclass away to AZ Alkmaar.

He has plenty of experience in Europe for Chelsea and that could be crucial to the Hammers in their Conference League final on Wednesday. He claimed that his goal is winning the competition to repay fans for their support during his highs and lows over the past two seasons. “I want to give it back [the support] by winning a trophy. That would be the best feeling.”

If Zouma is performing at his best, the Fiorentina attackers could be in for a tough night. It’s vital that defensively they’re all on top of their game as the Italian side have got the quality to hurt us. There is no reason we can’t do the same to them though and it’s looking like it could be an enthralling final. The nerves and excitement are in full motion, is it finally time for the Irons to find fortune?

Written by Charlie Bass