Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has revealed that Jose Mourinho told him he was “rubbish” in a post-match meeting while the Portuguese was in charge.
The France centre-back was signed by Mourinho as a 19-year-old from Saint-Etienne back in 2014.
And despite still being in his early stages at Stamford Bridge, Zouma has recalled the time he was left shocked by Mourinho’s comments after a particularly poor performance.
“I cannot remember which match we were playing, we were losing 3-1, away from home,” Zouma told RMC Sport.
“The following day, he [Mourinho] catches up with me, he takes me to his office, and he asks me if I am ok. I said yes, he asked me if I was sure.
“I said yes again, he replied ‘Because you were rubbish this weekend.’ Like that, direct. It shocked me, but it made me want to immediately respond on the pitch.
“I remember that it hurt me, that it affected me. But I really wanted to show him that I could react.”
Mourinho has been criticised for not using his youth players enough in the past.
But despite being on the receiving end of some harsh words as a youngster himself from the Tottenham boss, Zouma insists Mourinho is always looking to win, whether that means going with a younger player or a more established squad member.
Today’s top football stories on Daily Star
“He is someone who loves victory,” Zouma continued. “He uses all the tools possible to achieve it.
“I came here at 19 and he played me. I was able to have my chances, I played my matches.
“I don’t know what other people think, we all have different opinions, but from my side, I don’t really agree [with the notion that Mourinho does not give young players a chance].”