After Graham Potter was ignored in the first game, Kalidou Koulibaly sends a clear message to Chelsea

The omission of defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Graham Potter’s first Chelsea starting lineup was one of the biggest upsets. For Potter’s debut game in charge of the Blues, a 1-1 draw against RB Salzburg, he selected a back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, and Marc Cucurella.

The 31-year-old has started every other Chelsea match this season (apart from the victory over Leicester City, for which he was suspended), but he didn’t play against Salzburg. There is a lot of competition in the Chelsea backline because players like Wesley Fofana and Trevoh Chalobah are also pushing for a spot in the back three.

It will never be known if Koulibaly would have started in any of the matches against Fulham or Liverpool had Potter’s first two Premier League matches against Chelsea not been postponed. The Senegal international has acknowledged that in order to earn a regular berth in Potter’s starting XI, he would need to perform well in training over the coming weeks.

Koulibaly said Le Quotidien, “He accomplished some wonderful things with Brighton, and now he is a Chelsea manager.”

“He has rules and requirements. It’s up to me to exercise patience, to prove that I deserve to play, and to demonstrate throughout practice that the coach can put his trust in me.

“There will be no issue in comparison to this. Since we are still in the early going, the coach will likely turn to players who are accustomed to playing for Chelsea and have been there for a very long period.

“There won’t be any issues, and I’ll play again when I’m 100%.”

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