Kurt Zouma exclusive: West Ham star on shackling Kane and Chelsea exit


urt Zouma could hardly have better preparation for the challenge of trying to shackle Harry Kane on Sunday. He insists he is kept on his toes by one of the finest strikers in the Premier League every day at West Ham.

“Trust me, he is very difficult to handle,” says the centre-back with a smile. He is talking about Michail Antonio, of course, and the problems posed by his new team-mate in training since Zouma arrived from Chelsea in the summer.

At 26, the France defender has come up against some of the best strikers in England’s top flight. He ranks Manchester City’s all-time record goal-scorer Sergio Aguero as the hardest to handle.

“My most difficult opponent,” he tells Standard Sport. “Because he was the guy who was very sharp. Compared to me, who is big, he was very low in size and his movements were very clever.

“He was always at the back of you, you never know where the guy is. You never know what he’s going to do and he was scoring goals. He was very difficult to defend against.”

That Zouma should talk of Antonio, who has six goals already this season, in such glowing terms is a measure of just how highly he regards the Jamaica international.

“He is a top striker,” he adds. “He’s got everything — fast, accurate, dangerous, good on the ball, good finisher. He can hold the ball very well, his movements are good.

“I mean a top striker at the minute — and you can see he is flying.”

Kane’s confidence should also be lifted after finally getting his Premier League account up and running in Tottenham’s win at Newcastle last week.

The England captain has looked weighed down by his failure to secure a move to City in the summer, with weary performances for club and country.

But Zouma was never in any doubt about his enduring quality or threat — not that he will be doing any special preparations to try to keep him quiet.

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