New West Ham captain Kurt Zouma eager to repay support shown by David Moyes
Zouma replaced Declan Rice as the Hammers’ skipper.
Kurt Zouma is determined to repay the faith shown in him by West Ham manager David Moyes.
The 28-year-old defender has been confirmed as West Ham’s club captain in the wake of Declan Rice’s summer switch to Arsenal.
Moyes forked out £30million to sign Zouma from Chelsea in 2021 and stood by the Frenchman after a video emerged showing him kicking and slapping his pet cat.
Zouma was fined two weeks’ wages and sentenced to 180 hours of community service after that unsavoury incident.
Last season, Zouma was one of West Ham’s stand-out performers during their triumphant run in the Europa Conference League.
And his redemption continued by being handed the armband and playing a big part in West Ham’s fine start to the current campaign.
“It’s a huge honour and privilege for me to be captain. It’s an amazing club and I’m just so proud,” Zouma told the PA news agency.
“The manager has done an amazing job. He’s a legend here. We won a trophy last year and that was a top achievement.
“And for me personally he has been helping me in every aspect, with my game and outside of football he has been supporting me throughout everything, and I just can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me and I try to give it back on the pitch.
“That’s my way, on the pitch. Everything he has helped me through I have to give it back on the pitch.”
West Ham have re-invested the £105million received for Rice in James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez, Mohammed Kudus and Konstantinos Mavropanos, all of whom look like shrewd signings by Moyes.
“We lost a top player, an important player, in Declan,” added Zouma. “But I think the replacements that we made have been very clever.
“That didn’t affect us, to be fair, we knew he was going to go. He’s played some unbelievable games here, he’ll always be remembered here, but he’s an opponent now.
“The players that came in have bought into the project at West Ham, they’ve bought into the tactics, they’ve settled quickly as well.
“So we are pleased to have those guys and they’ve helped us make a really strong start to the season.”