The fit-again Blues defender is aware that he needs to play regularly if he is to fulfil his potential and return to the France national squad
Kurt Zouma admits “there will be discussions” regarding his Chelsea future once the 2016-17 campaign comes to a close.
The France international has worked his way back to full fitness after suffering a serious knee injury in February 2016.
Zouma: The team comes first
He has only recently returned to the first-team fold, with Antonio Conte reluctant to rush a player of such promise.
Zouma had established himself as a regular at Stamford Bridge before picking up an untimely knock, but is now having to start all over again.
Additions have been made in his absence, while a change in formation under Conte sees Chelsea operating in a different system.
The 22-year-old acknowledges that he must be patient as he waits for starting opportunities, but is also aware of the need to get minutes under his belt if he is to recapture his best form and earn a recall to the France national side.
Zouma, who is under contract with the Blues until 2019, told L’Equipe: “We’ll have to see how the second half of the season goes. The team is the priority: first of all, to be champions!
Chelsea form helped comeback – Zouma
“After that, yes, we’ll have to talk, because I’m young, and it’s at my age that you have to play the most.
“For the moment, I’m waiting, I’m happy the team is winning, even if at a moment in time, I’m going to have to play if I want to achieve my objectives and get back into the France team.
“There will be discussions, but once again, I’m not worried about all that. For the moment, it’s the team that counts.”
Zouma, who joined Chelsea from St Etienne in January 2014, added: “It’s certain that I would get back to my best more quickly by playing, but I’m learning a lot.
“I know that, tactically, I had some weaknesses, and I have worked a lot to put those right, with the coach, in matches and in training.
WATCH: Zouma’s road to recovery
“I’m not worried about my level. I’m a rather confident guy, and I know that I’ll get [my best form] back sooner or later.”
The highly-rated defender has made three competitive appearances for Chelsea this season, having made his return in a FA Cup clash with Peterborough United on January 8.
His first Premier League outing in close to a year came against Arsenal last time out, as he helped Conte’s side to pick up a 3-1 victory over their London rivals to maintain a nine-point lead at the top of the table.