Thursday Aug 25, 2022. 15:00
Premier League pundit Graeme Souness has questioned Kalidou Koulibaly’s aggression following a mixed start to life at Chelsea.
The Senegalese centre-back is rightly considered one of the best defenders in world football, but things have not gone all his own way since joining the Blues from Napoli this season.
He helped Chelsea keep a clean sheet on debut in a 1-0 win over Everton, and followed that up with his first goal against Tottenham Hotspur the following week.
However, Spurs fought back to draw the game 2-2 at Stamford Bridge, and Koulibaly then endured a tough outing in a 3-0 loss to Leeds United this past weekend – in which he was also sent off for collecting a second yellow card.
“It is a bit of a reflection of frustration, and it cannot happen. We cannot get frustrated in the Premier League,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said of Koulibaly.
Souness, meanwhile, believes the 31-year-old needs to adapt his game to the Premier League.
“I saw something in Koulibaly last week when Harry [Kane, Tottenham captain] got his equaliser,” the former Liverpool player said.
“There was three Tottenham players who could’ve scored that goal, they’re all attacking the ball, that’s why you’ve got a 6ft3, 6ft4 defender, a big strong man to be in the mix to put his head on that or at least bundle people out the way.
“He ends up standing on the goal line. I’m looking at him now and I’m thinking, you’re 31, I’m thinking you’re a big, strong, aggressive player that’s going to attack every ball that arrives in the box, he didn’t do it [against Leeds], he didn’t do it against Spurs.
“I’d be saying to him this is why we got you, I’m not saying this has happened to him but when you get to 30-plus you start to think maybe that sort of challenge isn’t for me any more.
“He has to realise that playing in the English Premier League, that challenge he’s going to make every single tackle.”
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