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Koulibaly accused of playing ‘without personality & confidence’ at Chelsea by ex-England boss Capello

10:14 EAT 08/10/2022
Kalidou Koulibaly Chelsea Leeds 2022-23
Kalidou Koulibaly has been accused of playing without personality since joining Chelsea from Serie A side Napoli and is low on confidence..
  • KK was one of the world's best during Serie A stint
  • Senegal defender struggled since moving to Chelsea
  • Teranga Lions star could get more minutes with Fofana injured

WHAT HAPPENED? Koulibaly joined Chelsea with a huge reputation as one of the world’s top centre-backs following his hugely successful eight years at Napoli but has struggled for form and game time in West London, leading to criticism over his performance.

Former England coach Fabio Capello is among those not impressed by the Senegal defender’s displays for the Blues and believes the 31-year-old is struggling with the rhythm of the Premier League due to low confidence

WHAT DID CAPELLO SAY? "At Chelsea, he has no personality. When he has the ball at his feet, he hesitates. He is not playing quickly. He does not do what he did at Napoli,” Capello told Sky Sports Italy as reported by Football London.

"At Napoli, he commanded, he came forward, he made long passes, now he has the ball between his feet, he does not know who to pass it to, and he always plays passes to someone only a few metres away.”

"I thought he had a great personality, and for Chelsea, he would be really important and explode straight away. And yet, at this moment, this is not him."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Koulibaly, who has seven appearances for Chelsea, has had a rough start and was sent off in his third game for his new side during the Blues’ 3-0 loss to Leeds United on August 21 and after featuring in all games under former coach Thomas Tuchel, he was dropped by new manager Graham Potter in his first two matches.

He returned to the side for Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over AC Milan in the Champions League by his performance still received criticism. He, however, has a chance to rectify his mistakes given Wesley Fofana will be out for close to six weeks with an injury, handing him an extended run in Potter’s side.

WHAT NEXT FOR KOULIBALY? It is still not known if Potter will stick with a back-three for the visit of Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday but whatever formation he goes for, the Senegalese is likely to be among the starters.

Koulibaly will hope that he can convince his coach to trust him more, given a spell on the bench will not suit him with the World Cup just over a month away.