The 31-year-old joined Chelsea for £35 million from Napoli on a five-year deal. Chelsea had lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively on a free transfer this summer.
The departure of Antonio Rudiger was felt by Chelsea fans around the World. The Senegalese international has been tipped to replace Antonio Rudiger by many people including his close friend Jorginho who responding to a question from reporters said Kalidou Koulibaly is the direct replacement for Antonio Rudiger.
Thomas Tuchel had also hinted that the former Napoli defender will be deployed on the left side of Chelsea’s three-men defense which was previously occupied by Antonio Rudiger.
However, Kalidou Koulibaly has indicated he is not at Chelsea to replace Antonio Rudiger.
What was Kalidou Koulibaly’s response when asked if he is the direct replacement of Antonio Rudiger?
Speaking at his first press conference as a Chelsea player, The Senegalese captain said: “Antonio is a really good player.
“I know what he did for Chelsea. I used to play against him when he was at Roma. He did a lot at Chelsea and I’m happy for him when he joined Real Madrid, but for me, it does not pressure.
“I don’t want to be the guy who is replacing Rudiger. I am Koulibaly, another player, not the same player, I don’t play like him. I have different skills, another style, another idea of football, so I will try to do my best to give solidity to the team.”
The 31-year-old also hinted that he is ready to take the new challenge in the Premier League and show everyone what he is made of.
The new Chelsea signing added: “I like duels, I like one against ones, to give solidity, to defend, so it’s the right place for me. There are a lot of good attackers in the Premier League, some of the best in the world, so it will be difficult, but I’m easy and I want to show I can be the defender everybody thinks.
“My first idea is to not let a goal in.
“If we do that, we have a lot of talent, a lot of big players who can score every time, everywhere. If we give this solidity to the back, in front they will have no worries and they will score a lot.
“I come from Italy, it will be difficult, but I’m ready because I’m really motivated. I want to show everybody I’m ready to play in the Premier League.”
When he was asked about what the challenge the in Premier League was, he said: “Everything is faster. I have to think faster, my head has to go faster, and my eyes have to go faster. This is the most difficult thing for a player coming to the Premier League. In Serie A everything is more with the brain, calmer. That’s the first thing I have to change.
“It’s a new system for me, 3-5-2, so I have to adapt. I’m thankful to the staff because they have helped me understand everything and talked a lot with me, and the other players like Thiago Silva and Azpi.
Kalidou Koulibaly is in contention to have his Premier League on Saturday against Everton.