Chelsea have received a huge boost ahead of their visit to St. Mary’s Stadium in Tuesday night’s late kick-off.
What’s the latest?
Speaking in Monday’s press conference ahead of the Blues’ trip to Southampton, Thomas Tuchel announced that Kalidou Koulibaly would slot straight back into the side having served his one-match ban.
The veteran defender was sent off after accumulating two yellow cards in the defeat against Leeds United, forcing him to miss out in the last game against Leicester City.
On the Senegalese international, Tuchel said this via the Chelsea website:
“He will play at Southampton, he will be on the pitch he’s a massive player for us.
“I already see him emerging as a leader. He’s a fantastic player, a fantastic personality, and I’m so happy with what I see, how he behaves, how he trains.
“I see a lot of quality and everything that is needed to be a leading figure at Chelsea.”
Tuchel will be delighted
The return of Koulibaly represents a major boost for Tuchel who is happy with the quality that he has seen so far and clearly feels as though the player does not need further reprimand, amidst his sending off at Elland Road.
The 31-year-old brings stability to his side and has proven himself as a formidable asset in possession so far this season, asserting himself as the Blues’ most accurate passer of the ball with 62.9 accurate passes per 90.
Ironically, the centre-back also poses the highest average of shots on target so far this season, with an average of 1.1 shots on target per 90, which is further indicative of where Tuchel’s side need to improve.
Koulibaly’s presence at the back will help to sure up the backline, who have conceded in three of their four games this season.