Rafa Benitez warns Chelsea about Kalidou Koulibaly


Former Chelsea and Napoli head coach Rafa Benitez has reacted to the latest Chelsea signing of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Chelsea completed the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly last week and the Senegal player is already a fan favorite in London.

Rafa Benitez

The 31-year-old has started training with the Blues and supporters see him as a good signing but a coach who knows him well has some more sobering news that the Chelsea family won’t want. According to Rafa Benitez, Kalidou Koulibaly who was his former player at Napoli will not dominate the defense area for Chelsea.

Benitez claimed that he doubts his level of concentration and aerial ability which is much needed in the English Premier League.

The West London club had to make Kalidou Koulibaly one of their top transfer targets this summer as Thomas Tuchel wants to improve his back four. The Senegalese cost Chelsea up to £34 million ($41m) and they could still sign another defender this summer.

Although, Kalidou Koulibaly was regarded as one of the best defenders in the Italian Serie A and history of Napoli, his former manager Rafa Benitez doesn’t believe that he’ll be great at Chelsea because his weaknesses could be exploited more readily in the Premier League.

While speaking during an interview with The Athletic, Rafa Benitez said: “He must improve his concentration at times. He can be guilty of losing focus and can be overconfident, but he has been hugely influential at Napoli, and people I know and trust have told me that he has been the best center-back in Italy during this time.

He reminded the journalist that Kalidou Koulibaly won’t play in the Italian Serie A next season but in the English Premier League which is seen as the best and toughest league in the world.

However, he said that the player could be fine with playing the type of football that current Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel wants because he has similarities with Antonio Rudiger. Benitez went further to mention some of the qualities like being very good at running with the ball and also good with both feet.

According to the former Chelsea head coach, he could turn out to be a good signing for the Blues but he doubts if Kalidou Koulibaly will be as dominant as he was in the Italian Serie A.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Chelsea were eager to bring Koulibaly to Stamford Bridge despite concerns about some parts of his game and a large price tag for a player over 30 who has never played in English football.

After Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left in the summer, manager Thomas Tuchel had to strengthen his defense with the help of the senior center-back. He has experience playing at the highest level of European club football, having represented Napoli in 26 Champions League games since joining the team in 2014.


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