Hughes hails Zouma’s powerful presence

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes praised the quality of defender Kurt Zouma after his first 45 minutes of football for the club in a pre-season friendly.

The 22-year-old joined the Potters on loan from Chelsea and played in his first game on Tuesday night as they lost 2-1 at Sheffield United.

Hughes was impressed by what he saw from the Frenchman and is looking forward to fielding him in the heart of the Stoke defence in the Premier League this season.

“It was always the plan that Kurt would come off at half-time because he didn’t do an awful lot of training last week and we didn’t want to take any risks,” Hughes told the club's official website.

“Prior to that he had trained fully with Chelsea but he missed the best part of a week’s worth of training while his loan move to us was going through.

“I thought he came through the 45 minutes he played at Bramall Lane really, really well. Everyone saw what a powerful and dominant figure he is there at the back; there’s no doubting he’s going to add to us defensively and we’re delighted to have brought him to the Club.”