Rafael Benitez Leaks Weaknesses of Chelsea’s New Defender, Kalidou Koulibaly

Raphael Benitez. (AFP/Glyn Kirk)

Former Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez is someone who has worked with Kalidou Koulibaly. He also divulged the weaknesses of the new Blues defender.

Koulibaly has been playing for Napoli since 2014. The player who has played for Genk has made more than 300 appearances for the Partenopei.

After eight seasons in Italy, Koulibaly finally decided to accept Chelsea’s proposal. He was brought to Stamford Bridge with a transfer value of around 40 million euros.

The defender from Senegal signed a contract with Chelsea until 2026. Koulibaly became the Blues’ second signing in the transfer market this summer after Raheem Sterling.

According to Benitez, there are some shortcomings that Koulibaly must correct. One of them is concentration on the field.

“He has to improve his concentration every now and then,” Benitez told The Athletic.

“He can be guilty of losing focus and being overconfident, but he was very influential at Napoli and people I know and trust tell me that he was the best centre-back in Italy of his era.”

“This season he is in the Premier League and he will have no problem with the way Tuchel plays. He has a resemblance to Rudiger, he is very good at running with the ball, his two feet are very good.”

Benitez is also concerned that Koulibaly will find it difficult to adapt to the harsh style of English football. In addition, Koulibaly is also considered lacking in aerial duels.

“Is he too good? We’ll see at Chelsea. As I said, he is fine in Italy because he is very fast, but I doubt he will be so dominant here.”

“His aerial ability isn’t his biggest strength, but in Italy it doesn’t really matter and he’s doing well. It’s interesting to see how it develops in the Premier League, but he’s always willing to learn.

“He spent time with me and the staff after training to hone his headers and improve his technique,” concluded Benitez.

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