Thomas Tuchel praises ‘incredibly good’ summer Chelsea FC signing

Thomas Tuchel was delighted by Kalidou Koulibaly's performance for Chelsea FC against Arsenal - despite the scoreline

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: China Images / depositphotos.com)

Thomas Tuchel has heaped praise on Kalidou Koulibaly following his “incredibly good” performance on his Chelsea FC debut at the weekend.

The Senegal captain has been settling into life at his new club after completing a big-money move from Napoli earlier in July and he made his first appearance for the Blues when he came on the play the final 17 minutes of Chelsea FC’s pre-season loss to Arsenal on Sunday morning.

The south west London side suffered a demoralising 4-0 loss to their London neighbours as Mikel Arteta’s men laid down a marker for the season ahead with a dominant victory.

Tuchel was understandably frustrated by his side’s poor performance but speaking after the game, he picked out Koulibaly’s display as one of the few positives that the Blues could take away from the defeat.

Tuchel said of Koulibaly: “He was the best player on the pitch for us. He was incredibly good, I have to say. On an evening where nothing felt good, this felt very good.”

Last season, Koulibaly scored three goals and made three assists in 27 Serie A games for Napoli to help them to finish third in the table.

Meanwhile, Koulibaly has earned praise from former Chelsea FC boss and player Roberto Di Matteo, who is also tipping fellow summer signing Raheem Sterling to have a big impact at Stamford Bridge next season.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Chelsea FC’s website, Di Matteo said: “Koulibaly and Sterling and two brilliant signings. I think they are going to be very important for the team this season and for the future.

“They are two players that I think will have a big impact at the club and I’m sure the coach knows them very well in terms of how he wants to utilise them. I think they will bring a lot of quality into the side, for sure.

“Being Italian, I watch Italian football quite a lot and with regards to Koulibaly, he’s a top-class player. He will bring physicality, which you need in the Premier League, but also he has a lot of technical ability and he has the tactical awareness that you see from the Italian sides in Serie A.

“So I think he be a good signing for Chelsea. I feel like we are getting a top player who is in the prime of his career, so I can only see positive things.”

Chelsea FC will conclude their pre-season preparations with a clash against Udinese on Friday night before turning their attentions towards their trip to Everton on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign.

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