Kalidou Koulibaly has been previewing his first London derby as Chelsea prepare to take on Tottenham on Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge
Kalidou Koulibaly has insisted “we are ready” when talking about his new Chelsea side’s hopes against Tottenham. The 31-year-old defender made his Premier League debut for the Blues at the weekend in their 1-0 win at Everton.
Koulibaly impressed in his first outing in the top-flight at Goodison Park following his £33.8million move from Napoli.
The Senegal international showed glimpses of why Thomas Tuchel pursued a move for his services and how he can be a more than adequate replacement for Antonio Rudiger.
“[It] was a tough game, hard game,” Koulibaly told Chelsea’s official website, when speaking about the 1-0 win at Everton. “It was a bit difficult because I wasn’t used to the rhythm but I tried to do my best. We won the game so I was happy to win it. I am looking forward.”
He is expected to be involved once again at the weekend as Chelsea welcome Tottenham to Stamford Bridge in their second Premier League match of the season.
Spurs looked very impressive in their opening game of the campaign as they overturned a one-goal deficit to beat Southampton 4-1 on their home turf.
Big things are expected of Antonio Conte’s team in his first full season in charge at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs have brought in Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Djed Spence, Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Clement Lenglet so far this summer – in what has been a major rebuild for Conte over the past few months.
However, Koulibaly has insisted him and his new team-mates are ready for whatever challenge Tottenham throw at them at the weekend. “[It’s a] big game. A derby. We know it will be tough,” the defender said.
“They have a really good team with good players. We will work hard this week to be ready for Sunday and win. We know it will be difficult but we are ready for it.”
Chelsea are still working on bringing in another few players before the transfer window closes at the start of next month. The Blues remain locked in talks with Leicester City over a deal to sign Wesley Fofana.
Leicester have already turned down two bids from Chelsea for Fofana, but the Blues are expected to return with a third offer later this week in the region of £80m, football.london has been told.
One thing that does look pretty certain at the moment, though, is Chelsea won’t have any new additions in their squad for the weekend – with the deadline for registration at 12pm on Friday.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are in talks with Barcelona over the signings of Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Blues are confident they will be able to agree a fee with Barca for De Jong, but the issue will be persuading the Netherlands international to make the switch to Stamford Bridge.
Aubameyang is also a big target. Tuchel wants to reunite with the striker he had so much success with during their time together at Borussia Dortmund. As it stands, the former Arsenal captain is the club’s main attacking target.