William Gallas explains why Kalidou Koulibaly is struggling at Chelsea


    Kalidou Koulibaly joined Chelsea from Napoli last summer
    Kalidou Koulibaly joined Chelsea from Napoli last summer (Picture: Getty)

    William Gallas has explained why Kalidou Koulibaly has struggled in his first season at Chelsea.

    Senegal star Koulibaly established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in Europe during his eight-year spell at Napoli.

    But things have not gone to plan for Koulibaly following a £33m move to Premier League club Chelsea last summer, with the 31-year-old failing to discover his Serie A form in the English capital.

    ‘Kalidou Koulibaly is struggling at Chelsea because it is a different league and style,’ Gallas told Genting Casino. ‘To play in England and to play in Italy are two different things.

    ‘Your team-mates are different. You are not the best defender in your team. In Napoli he was the best defender, at Chelsea, it is different.

    ‘You are not the main guy so you have to adapt. In my opinion, when you are coming from another league, you need at least one year to adapt, especially if you have family. So you need to adapt.’

    Koulibaly is not the only Chelsea player struggling for form this season, with the Blues slipping to 10th in the Premier League under Graham Potter.

    William Gallas has discussed the defender's recent struggles
    William Gallas has discussed the defender’s recent struggles (Picture: Getty)

    Speaking on Wednesday, Potter admitted he had not been ‘perfect’ in his role as Chelsea boss but said his team are not too far away from being competitive.

    ‘I think you always feel pressure,’ he said. ‘The higher you go the more pressure there is from the outside, noise, whatever you describe it as.

    ‘Especially at a club like Chelsea, the history, demands of the club, when you don’t get the results you want of course there is noise and criticism, everything you’d expect. You have to put it into perspective and keep trying to improve.

    ‘You have to understand that it’s part of the job. Football is emotional. When you lose you feel the pain, the suffering, the discomfort. Sometimes it’s hard to understand why and is easier to blame somebody.

    ‘I’m not sat here saying I’ve been perfect so they are not completely wrong. But it’s always complex. You try to remember you are capable, how you got here.

    ‘Two months ago I was considered a top coach. But at the same time I acknowledge the results we have had have not been good enough for us.’

    Chelsea, who are currently 10 points outside the Champions League places, face west London rivals Fulham in the Premier League on Thursday night.

    MORE : Jorginho expected to leave Chelsea on free transfer next summer

    MORE : Arsenal and Chelsea target Mudryk spotted in talks with Shakhtar chief

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