'Has trained very well': Potter says £33m Chelsea player has really impressed him at Cobham
Graham Potter claims Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly has looked really impressive in training.
Koulibaly, 31, hasn’t actually got on the pitch during Potter’s opening two games in charge as the new head coach.
However, the £33million defender will have been trying to show his individual quality on the training pitches at Cobham.
The Senegal international proved over several years at Napoli he’s a classy centre-back, but people may overlook the fact he’s got to adjust to a new country and a new division this season following his summer arrival.
Koulibaly in training
Potter shared in his pre-match press conference yesterday ahead of tonight’s game against AC Milan that Koulibaly has been excellent behind the scenes.
It’s no major surprise to hear that when you consider his career to date. Hopefully, Blues fans will get to see him performing at his very best in Chelsea colours sooner rather than later.
Potter said, as quoted by Football London: “Firstly, I’ve been really impressed with him (Koulibaly). As a person, he is honest and understands his situation in terms of having to wait a bit to play, which every player will say they are not so happy with. Then it’s how you respond and his response has been fantastic. He has been very hard working and honest, has trained very well.
“He has come from a club and country that he was very familiar with and comfortable with and making the step into the Premier League is not so easy. Things have happened in terms of changes at the club so it’s not been the perfect situation for him. But he is a top player and top persona and with that character, he will play an important role for us that is for sure.”
Play him tonight
Chelsea host AC Milan tonight in a really important Champions League group stage match, which is a great chance to recall Koulibaly.
He’ll know more about tonight’s opponents than most of his teammates, playing 14 games against them in his career.
Koulibaly has shown in glimpses the powerhouse defender he can be, but the red card against Leeds United earlier in the season definitely dented his momentum.
A lot of supporters labelled him the perfect replacement for Antonio Rudiger to slot into a left-sided centre-back position. However, the appointment of Potter has led to change in the side and he’s probably still working out his favourites.
Koulibaly has shown great professionalism lately, explaining it’s down to himself to show Potter how good he is. Let’s hope he gets on the pitch to prove it tonight.