Kalidou Koulibaly vows to win back Chelsea spot after Graham Potter omission

Tom Gott
Koulibaly has had a mixed start to life at Chelsea
Koulibaly has had a mixed start to life at Chelsea / Visionhaus/GettyImages

New Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly has admitted he has found life in the Premier League hard to adjust to but has vowed to win back his starting spot in Graham Potter's squad.

A £40m arrival in the summer, Koulibaly was a regular under former boss Thomas Tuchel but endured some mixed performances before being benched in Potter's first game in charge, with the new manager opting for a back three of Marc Cucurella, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Speaking to Le Quotidien, Koulibaly stressed he has no issues with Potter and acknowledged that he is yet to reach his best at Stamford Bridge.

"The new coach came with some good ideas," Koulibaly said. "He’s a real coach. He did some good things with Brighton. Now he is Chelsea manager.

"He has guidelines, expectations. It’s up to me to be patient, it’s up to me to show that I deserve to play, to show in training that the coach can trust me. There will be no problem.

"We are also in the first weeks, it is normal for the coach to rely on players who are used to the emblem of Chelsea and who have been there for a very long time.
When I'm at 100%, there will be no problems. I will play again."

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Koulibaly also reflected on his decision to join Chelsea after eight years with Napoli.

"You know, it’s a life choice," he said. "I wanted to change clubs. I felt like I’d given everything to Napoli. There came a point where I wanted to change life, challenge myself and throw myself into a new challenge.

"Chelsea arrived and it didn’t take long for me to choose. They’re one of the five best clubs in the world, with a great history; a team that’s used to winning. I’ll never stop thanking [Napoli] for what they gave me. Now, I felt it was time to discover something else.

"Signing with Chelsea was a very good thing for me. I’m very happy to be there. It was a bit tough at first, because I had to move eight years of my life to London. It’s something that’s quite hard.

"The need to find a school, get used to the London life. I arrived in London, where I found my house, the school for my kids. I’ve found my bearings, so I’m very happy."