Kurt Zouma injury: Chelsea will miss the young centre-back badly, statistics show

The France international will undergo surgery and miss the rest of the season after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg

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The Independent Football

Chelsea may have been happy to steal a point late on against Manchester United but their plans for the remainder of the season took a step-back with central defender Kurt Zouma suffering a serious injury.

The France international has been ruled for six months and will undergo surgery after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament when landing awkwardly during the second half of Sunday’s 1-1 draw.

Zouma now faces a long road to recovery and Chelsea will have to make-do without him for the rest of the season and perhaps even a bit beyond. Can they cope?

Fantasy Football game www.oulala.com have taken a closer look at Zouma's league stats in 2016 to see how much of an impact the 21-year old has had.

There is no doubt that Chelsea need to see off opponents and win more matches. However after six games and three clean sheets, the Blues remain undefeated in 2016. Oulala's stats show that Zouma has played a vital part in Chelsea's recent run of good form and will be sorely missed. 

With a total 19, Zouma has the highest number of aerial duels won in the whole Chelsea squad. He also has the highest success rate at 79 per cent of any outfield player. Ironically it was contesting for a high ball that led to Zouma’s injury but nevertheless, his aerial presence and superiority will be sorely missed.

In 2016, Zouma made a highly impressive 46 clearances - 16 more than second place John Terry on 30. Oulala's stats show that Zouma also lays claim to the most clearances of any Chelsea player this season with a total of 130.

The Frenchman also leads the way in terms of blocks made with a total of five since the turn of the year.

It now looks as though Gary Cahill will have to fill the shoes left by Zouma. The Frenchman originally pushed Cahill down the defensive pecking order, and the England international has barely featured for Chelsea since Guus Hiddink's appointment back in December.

Cahill has not played in a Premier League win since Chelsea saw off 10-man Arsenal 2-0 back in September.

Is he a good enough replacement for the injured Zouma? Can Chelsea continue their unbeaten run which goes all the way back to mid-December without the solid Zouma at the back?