Graham Potter has confirmed that Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly won’t play against Brighton this weekend in the Premier League.
Koulibaly, who has missed the last two games with a knee problem, is unavailable tomorrow for the trip to the Amex Stadium.
The £34million defender has had a bit of a mixed start to his Blues career since he joined in the summer, but was beginning to rediscover a bit of form before his setback.
Apparently, there’s an “outside chance” the 31-year-old may be able to return next Wednesday for the Champions League group stage match against Dinamo Zagreb.
Koulibaly won’t play against Brighton
Potter has shared in Friday’s pre-match press conference that Koulibaly won’t be in the squad on Saturday afternoon.
“[Koulibaly] is an outside chance for Wednesday but not for tomorrow,” Potter said.
The centre-back will be extremely frustrated to be out of action during such a busy period, but at least it doesn’t sound like the injury will impact his World Cup plans with Senegal.
His absence, along with long-term injury absentee Wesley Fofana, means Chelsea’s options in defence remain fairly limited.
A back three of Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Marc Cucurella has been deployed by Potter to great success. Alternatively, he’s shown flexibility to move to a back four and play a Chaloba-Silva combination at centre-half.
However, it’s asking a lot of the defender to keep playing so many games at a high standard.
Described as a “top player” by Potter, Koulibaly is still yet to truly show Chelsea supporters how good he can be.
The former Napoli man carved out such a formidable reputation from his time in Italy, but there’s been a few bumps in the road so far at Stamford Bridge.
Let’s hope that the powerful centre-back can come back fully fit and in good form post-World Cup to make a starting position in the Blues XI his own.
For certain, there’s a spot up for grabs on the left side of defence right now.
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