Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly has reportedly returned to first-team training ahead of his team’s UEFA Champions League clash against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday (2 November).
Koulibaly, 31, has established himself as a crucial part of new manager Graham Potter’s plans since arriving from Napoli for £34 million earlier this summer. He has made 11 appearances across all competitions for the west London outfit so far, with five coming under Potter.
A right-footed ball-playing centre-back, Koulibaly missed his team’s last three matches across all competitions after picking up a minor knee issue in the goalless draw at Brentford last month.
According to Football.london, Koulibaly has rejoined first-team training at Cobham ahead of Chelsea’s final UEFA Champions League Group E match. He is expected to feature in his team’s home clash against Dinamo Zagreb as the Blues aim to top their continental group.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference last month, Koulibaly shed light on the difficulties of settling at a new club. He said (via Football.london):
“It is hard to move eight years of my life to come to London. I know that I have reached a big club, one of the best clubs in the world, so everything is hard. But we all have to work. I think my time will come. I am easy, I know that it’s a normal process.”
The Senegalese stated that he is unworried about his current situation at Stamford Bridge. He also claimed that he is focused on helping the Blues register wins in the ongoing season and added:
“I have to keep on working, stay passionate and my time will come. I am not worried about anything, I just want Chelsea to win the games. I am really happy for the team because we have a good team spirit and it’s difficult when you change a manager.”
Chelsea are currently without the services of two other defenders in Reece James and Wesley Fofana. Both players have been ruled out of action for a few weeks due to respective knee injuries.
Reece James and Wesley Fofana will continue their rehabilitation programmes this week in Dubai.
A member of the Chelsea medical department will accompany them.
Chelsea target Benjamin Pavard storms out of training after frustrating session
According to Sky Sports (via Daily Star), Chelsea-linked Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard was the first to leave the Bavarians’ training session on Sunday (30 October). He stormed off the pitch without making eye contact with his coaches after a poor session.
Pavard, 26, has been serving as Bayern’s first-choice right-back since his £31.5 million switch from Stuttgart in 2019. However, he has recently fallen behind the pecking order. Noussair Mazraoui has been picked ahead of him in three of the last five matches.
A versatile defender adept at operating as a centre-back, Pavard has scored eight goals and laid out 11 assists in 136 appearances across all competitions for the Bundesliga giants.
To read more news, click here.