Tuchel suggests new Chelsea signing will allow him to play different formations
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel suggested that Kalidou Koulibaly’s arrival will allow him to be more flexible in choosing formations next season.
Tuchel decided to stick with his usual 3-4-3 formation in the 2-1 win over Club America in Las Vegas despite fielding many returning loanees who have had to adapt to the system.
The 3-4-3 formation has its advantages, including the freedom it gives to wing-backs such as Reece James, Ben Chilwell, and Marcos Alonso, who clearly offer a lot offensively.
On the other hand, the system relies a lot on these wing-backs, so Chilwell and James’ injury absences unsurprisingly had a big impact on the team’s drop in performance in the second half of the season.
Having more options tactically would help Chelsea deal with such situations, and Tuchel seemed to believe Koulibaly could prove important if Chelsea were to play a back four.
“He brings experience, quality, top defending, quality, height; everything we’re looking for to play a back three of back four,” the manager said of the Senegal international during the post-match press conference (via Football London).
“It’s a brilliant signing, another brilliant signing for us, and we hope that he can show his quality as soon as possible.
“We have Thiago Silva, who is even older and super experienced and still at the peak of his game.
“We hope Kalidou can do the same and play for many years for us.
“He is totally fit and ready for the challenge, and he needs to be because we need him in top shape.”
The additional midfield options, including Conor Gallagher, Ethan Ampadu, Billy Gilmour, will also allow Tuchel to experiment with more formations, given their ability to play both as number sixes and number eights.
Tuchel actually deployed back four formations, such as 4-1-4-1 and 4-2-2-2, on several occasions last season, so it will be interesting to see if he will use it more often going forward.