Graham Potter has been warned that Manchester United will target Kalidou Koulibaly if the defender features in the blockbuster bout. The 31-year-old has endured a turbulent start to life at Chelsea since joining from Napoli in the summer, with a handful of both impressive and underwhelming displays.
Koulibaly, who sees his contract at Stamford Bridge expire in 2026, has featured eight times for the Blues in the Premier League, helping keep four clean sheets in that time. He’s played a key role in the west Londoners’ top-four charge but, according to Gabby Agbonlahor, the centre-half has been ‘dreadful’ this season and is set to be targeted by the opposition.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the former Aston Villa striker insisted that Koulibaly is yet to have recaptured the same form he enjoyed in Italy. He said: “Koulibaly looks dreadful.
“I don’t know what Koulibaly Chelsea have signed, but it’s not the Koulibaly you saw play for Napoli. He looks like he’s always second to the ball. He’s giving away fouls. If you’re playing against Chelsea now, you target Koulibaly.”
Koulibaly has featured in each of the Blues’ previous three Premier League clashes and looks poised for another start. Speaking to Chelsea’s in-house media team at the start of the month, Potter insisted that he’s been ‘really impressed’ with the Senegal international.
“I’ve been really impressed with him,” the 47-year-old said. “As a person he is honest, and he understands his situation in terms of having to wait a little bit to play.
“Every player will say they’re not happy with that, but it’s how you respond. His response has been fantastic, very hard-working, very honest, and he’s trained really well.
“He’s come from a club and a country he was very familiar with and comfortable with. Making the step into the Premier League is not so easy.
“Things have happened with changes at the club, so it’s not the perfect situation for him, but he’s a top player and a top person. With that character, he will play an important role for us, that’s for sure.”