Kalidou Koulibaly has been linked to the Premier League for such a long time, and had shown such good form at Napoli, that it was pretty much assumed he’d be a starter in this new look Chelsea defence from day one.
He did slot in right away, and had some pretty good games, but a couple of shaky performances combined with the arrival of a new manager, meant he spent our last game on the bench.
On international duty, the Senegal star cooled any panic, and explained what Chelsea fans had been saying all along – it is just a case of a new coach relying on experienced players.
Kalidou Koulibaly: “We are in the first weeks, it is normal for the coach to rely on players who are used to #Chelsea and who have been there for a very long time. When I’m at 100%, there will be no problem, I will play again.”
— ⭐️ Chels HQ ⭐️ (@Chels_HQ) September 24, 2022
We saw a similar setup when Thomas Tuchel arrived for his first game, with a new face in the dugout preferring players who are 100% settled and comfortable in the Premier League over those who are still adjusting, even if they might be his long term option.