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Football London
Football London
Jake Stokes

Thomas Tuchel sent honest £34m Chelsea transfer verdict as Kalidou Koulibaly faces assessment

Chelsea great Robert Di Matteo has endorsed the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly and believes that Thomas Tuchel has signed a 'top player' with his best years ahead. The 31-year-old defender was heavily linked with an exit from Napoli this summer as he entered the final months of a contract with the Italian giants, attracting the interest of both the Blues and Barcelona.

The west Londoners proved successful in their mission to land the Senegal international, with Koulibaly penning a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge. He made his unofficial debut for Chelsea in a 17-minute cameo appearance off the bench in the club's penultimate pre-season clash, which saw Arsenal wheel away 4-0 victors.

Despite the scoreline, Di Matteo was left impressed by Koulibaly and insisted that he and fellow new signing Raheem Sterling will be pivotal to Tuchel's success this season. Speaking to the Chelsea website, the former Blues midfielder said: "Koulibaly and Sterling and two brilliant signings.

READ MORE: Chelsea receive £60m Raphinha transfer boost as Todd Boehly sets new Barcelona deadline

"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."

Di Matteo then noted his love for Italian football and named Koulibaly as the perfect centre-half for Chelsea. He added: "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 is 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."


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