‘I have to change’: Koulibaly outlines what he needs to adapt after moving to Chelsea

Kalidou Koulibaly has said in his first Chelsea press conference that he needs to adapt to the pace of the English football.

The Senegal international is preparing for his first Premier League appearance against Everton this weekend, after spending a number of years in Serie A with Napoli.

The Italian league is often known for being defensive-orientated, and the 31-year-old has established himself as one of the most dominant centre-backs in the league.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Blues supporters will be hoping he is able to make the transition to English football seamlessly, with the desire being that he becomes a leadership figure at the back.

Fans will be encouraged that Koulibaly appears to understand the differences English football will bring, with him claiming he is ready for the challenge of a new league and system.

Koulibaly knows about PL pace

He said: “Everything is faster. I have to go faster. This is the most difficult for a player in the Premier League. In Serie A, it’s more calm. Here, you have to think very fast. This is the first thing I have to change.

“The ball is going faster, it’s a new system for me. I’m thankful to the staff. This is the most important, to have the good behaviour. I know I’ll need time, it can’t be the first game… I’ll give everything.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

There were no such problems when fellow experienced defender Thiago Silva finally made his switch to the Premier League.

The Brazil international has remained a stellar member of the Chelsea side, with Thomas Tuchel turning to the 37-year-old probably more than he would like at his age, simply because of how the team looks without him.

The German will be hoping Koulibaly begins to follow in Silva’s footsteps, with young defenders such as Levi Colwill and Trevoh Chalobah hoping to have the perfect role model to learn from on the pitch.

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.