|Rudiger was a key player in Chelsea’s set-up over the past few seasons, and his departure had left a big hole in the side.
Finding a replacement was one of the main challenges for Tuchel to solve over the summer, and it looks like he may have now found the man to solve the problem. Rudiger was known for his impressive winning mentality and being a strong tackler with an aggressive playing style. He was one of the most influential players at Chelsea last season, not just on the pitch but also in the dressing room. He would bring ease and jokes when it was needed.
He’s one of those players that brings the rest of the team up to his high standards and when he left to Real Madrid it was a little bit worrying to see if it would be possible to get an adequate replacement. But Chelsea have been successful in bringing Koulibaly into the squad from Napoli.
Koulibaly is almost a perfect replacement for Rudiger as they play so similar. Both are big, strong, quick and aggressive, and natural on the ball with good passing. Not only myself, but a lot of footballers have seen this man at work and there have been moments where he made winning look easy.
This level of confidence he has also gives him an ease in his playing style. It will of course be a different style of play for him in the Premier League, as in Italy the tempo is not as fast, so that will be something he has to quickly manage.
At the age of 31 he has the experience but this will hopefully give Chelsea more time in looking for the younger and long-term recruits if they feel their own youth players wouldn’t fit into the system that Tuchel is working on. But bringing Koulibaly in shows that Tuchel wants a team that can compete right now instead of waiting too long.
The Senegal captain has been one of Serie A’s top defenders for a few seasons and will know how to make things difficult for attackers in the Premier League. Raheem Sterling is joining Koulibaly in a move to Chelsea which will add a new dimension to the attack, while there are rumours of Nathan Ake also joining from Man City, and Chelsea are weighing up a move for PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe to further boost the defence.
Reece James and Mason Mount have both talked about how they want to spend their futures at Chelsea too which is another boot for the squad and morale of the team. The happiness of the local young players will be a key part of the team to make sure they have the roots to keep building from there for a longer period of time. Instead of looking for a quick build I hope they will be continuing to invest in the youth and make those young boys be a core part of the long journey of success. #mmlove