Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has spoken about new signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling. The German sat down with Chelsea TV to explain his views on the Blues’ first summer recruits.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has lavished praise on new signing Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegalese international, whom the Blues signed from SSC Napoli for a fee in the region of 40 million euros, is a seasoned professional with 474 domestic and 62 international career appearances, who has been on the transfer shortlist of many of Europe’s top clubs since his breakout season in Italy.
Speaking to Chelsea TV in the United States of America, Tuchel labeled Koulibaly a “rare find”, hoping it wouldn’t be long before the centerback settles into his new surroundings.
“Kali combines a level of quality, talent, personality, strength in set pieces, offensively, defensively, header, and physicality. It’s rare to find. He played so many matches on the highest level.
“He knows already some players from national team like Edu and Jorgi from Napoli. I hope he can make his way very quickly to the team, feel well. He is now training half individual, half with the group.”
Days before signing Koulibaly, Chelsea also announced the arrival of winger Raheem Sterling from Manchester City in a 47.5 million pound deal. While fans would’ve hoped to have seen the attacker gel with his new teammates from the start, Tuchel revealed that he is yet to join the group training regime and is currently working alone.
“He knows so many players already that it’s not so hard for him to be welcomed in the group and feel welcomed,” he said.
“Going forward, he does a lot of individual work because he came late and there wasn’t a lot of training in his legs. He’s in that transition part where he steps into team training but everything is fine.”
Neither Sterling nor Koulibaly featured in Chelsea’s first pre-season game of the 2022 summer tour of the United States of America – a 2-1 win in Vegas over Liga MX side Club America. However, the Blues’ faithful could catch a glimpse of the pair in Charlotte on Wednesday, July 20, when Tuchel and Co face Major League Soccer side Charlotte FC.
The last leg of the London side’s USA tour sees them take on rivals Arsenal in Orlando; they will fly to Italy to play Serie A side Udinese just before the season starts, too.