Monday, August 15, 2022

Chelsea Ready To Tempt This Defensive Powerhouse With A Lucrative Contract: Good Choice For Tuchel?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent print edition,  Gazzetta dello Sport stated that Chelsea are ready to tempt Napoli defensive powerhouse Kalidou Koulibaly with a lucrative contract. It is believed that the Blues are prepared to offer the Senegal international close to €10m/year to lure him to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Koulibaly’s Impressive Run Of Form In Italian Football Last Season

The 30-year-old produced a run of dominant displays at the heart of Napoli’s backline last season. Koulibaly made 34 appearances for the Naples outfit in the previous campaign, netting three goals and grabbing three assists across all fronts.

The 57-time Senegal international was a rock at the back at the Naples-based club as he averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per 90 minutes in Serie A. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from the back, based on his pass success rate of 86.9% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Chelsea (Kalidou Koulibaly)
Napolis Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Napoli vs Sassuolo at Diego Armando Maradona stadium in Naples, on April 30, 2022. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Is Koulibaly A Good Choice For Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel?

Koulibaly is a solid tackler of the ball and can scan the danger quickly to earn the ball back for his side on the defensive third of the pitch.

Standing at 1.87m, he can use his strong frame to dominate the opposition attackers in the air and doesn’t mind putting his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot inside the penalty box. Koulibaly is proficient at playing his way out from the back but has no prior experience in English football. Hence, there are some concerns over whether he would be able to maintain his good form in the Premier League.

The Senegalese talent is a natural leader and would no doubt enhance the quality of Thomas Tuchel‘s defence this summer if Chelsea can bring him on board. Koulibaly could go on to form a dominant defensive partnership with Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge over the next couple of seasons.

However, at 30, the Napoli star has only got a handful of years left in him to play at a high level. Thus, he will be a decent, short-term choice for the West London giants to pursue during this summer transfer period.

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