Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma was sent on a season-long loan deal at Crystal Palace, and the 23-year-old has been ever-present in defence for the Potters, except for the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross says he is surprised Chelsea allowed Zouma to leave on loan as he rates the Frenchman as “the ultimate defender”.
Shawcross told The Sentinel: “He’s quick, he can jump really high, he can pass the ball, he can shoot, he doesn’t get beat one-v-one. He’s like the ultimate defender.
“I think Toby Alderweireld and Kurt are the top two centre halves in the country at the moment.
“I wasn’t surprised we got him because obviously we’ve got a good link with Chelsea, but I was surprised they let him go just because they’ve not had the greatest starts and I really do think he’s going to turn out to be one of the top centre halves in the country.
“For them to let him go to us is fantastic for us, but surprising.
“I think Kurt has done brilliantly. He’s played a lot of games previously and it’s a great test for him to come here.”