Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has described Kurt Zouma as the new Marcel Desailly after his display in the Capital One Cup final victory.
With Nemanja Matic suspended for the Wembley showpiece, Mourinho opted to play the French centre-back in a holding role to combat Tottenham’s midfield threat.
Zouma played a composed role in front of the back four, and the Chelsea boss was quick to compare him to Blues legend Desailly.
Mourinho said: “It’s very difficult for a central defender to play there, because they don’t have pressure from behind.
“In that position you are surrounded by players and you have to think quicker. He’s our new Marcel Desailly.
“We were preparing him to play that role and the kid did a fantastic job for us.
“Tottenham move the ball very well and with Cesc Fabregas and Ramires in there we knew we couldn’t reach them. We didn’t give them the game they were expecting.”
Mourinho, who in victory picked up his first trophy since returning to Stamford Bridge in 2013, praised both sides for their performance in the final.
He said: “We played to win. We changed the triangle in midfield, we pressed them well and I’m very happy.
“The game we played is that of a mature team, which is what we’re not.
“Tottenham brought a fantastic team to the final. They gave us a hard final, they made us think strategically.