'Difficult': Tuchel admits £33m Chelsea player struggled early on against Spurs, was partly down to the pitch

Thomas Tuchel has said in his post-match interview with the club that Kalidou Koulibaly struggled to begin with against Spurs.

The defender opened the scoring with a sensational volley in the first half, and looked assured as the game went on in just his second Chelsea start.

This is despite facing three of the better attackers in the league, with Heung-Min Son in particular struggling to have his regular effect on things.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

However, the opening exchanges could be seen as times when the Senegal international struggled, with Spurs probably playing their best football within the first ten minutes.

Tuchel has acknowledged that the defender, signed for £33m this summer, had issues early, although has claimed the condition of the pitch had an effect on his ability to play.

Tuchel admits Koulibaly struggled

He said: “Kali had some difficult and dangerous moments in the beginning because the pitch was a bit dry. But after that in general he is a top, top, top player and you can see it.”

The German will be most impressed by the response by Koulibaly, with him looking a sensational buy at this stage.

With Antonio Rudiger’s departure, many believed he would be missed more than anything at Stamford Bridge, with him establishing himself as an essential member of Tuchel’s backline last season.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

However, it already looks as if they’ve signed the perfect replacement in the 31-year-old, who struck up a good relationship with fellow new signing Marc Cucurella down the left-hand-side.

With the Spaniard starring in the wing-back role despite being signed as a central defender option, it could see Koulibaly required to fill that role more often, although he has proven he is more than capable of it.

With Wesley Fofana still linked with a move, the Blues have the potential to build a seriously strong defence for this season.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.