Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli
Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 13:00
Senegal and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly has a tough assignment this weekend, which is to stop South Africa as they want to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Lions of Teranga centre back has a huge role to play for the West Africans when they meet the 1996 African champions in two crucial encounters in less than five days.
Koulibaly will be a key figure when they visit the Southern part of the continent on Friday for their clash against Stuart Baxter's men on Friday.
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As they need a win to book a spot in Russia, their hosts will also want a win out of both encounters to return to the global stage.
With a lot of news surrounding the future of the defender, the Senegal coach will have to calm his nerves and ensure Kalidou remains grounded and focused on the task at hand.
Koulibaly is linked with a move away from the Serie A giants, with Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool touted to be chasing his signature.
Furthermore, the 2017 CAF African Footballer of the Year nomination comes as a huge boost for the 26-year-old and he will want to lift the coveted accolade.
But for that to happen, he must ensure he brings his A game in both matches against the 1996 African Cup of Nations hosts and help the Lions to emerge as victors.
With Sadio Mane available for the matches and the Reds coach Jurgen Klopp reportedly attending the match in person, Kalidou will only focus on his defending and not worry about their thin options in attack.
However, speculation regarding the move to Anfield could mount should he meet and have a chat with Klopp.