‘It was time’ - Kalidou Koulibaly explains decision to leave Napoli for Chelsea

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Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly has opened up on his decision to leave Napoli for London in the summer.

Kalidou Koulibaly has opened up on his move to Chelsea amid reduced play time of late.

The centre-back joined the Blues from Napoli for more than £30million in the summer, coming in as a replacement for Antonio Rudiger, who left for Real Madrid.

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Koulibaly is a seasoned pro, now 31 years of age, and he is recognised as one of the top players in his position, but he is out of favour currently.

Despite featuring heavily learly on, Koulibaly has been left on the bench for Graham Potter’s first two games in charge.

Thiago Silva and late summer signing Wesley Fofana have been prefered by Potter so far, and Koulubaly is going to have to win his place back.

But the veteran has no problem with that, telling French media Carré: “I have settled in well, just like my family. I arrived at the right time, along with players who have won many trophies.

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“It’s up to me to prove that the team can always count on me. For now, I am really happy and I hope to continue.”

Koulibaly spent eight years at Napoli, becoming a hugely popular figure at the club, ahead of leaving for Chelsea this summer.

And speaking about his decision to call time on his Naples days, Koulibaly added: “I knew that after eight years, my time at Napoli was over. When one of the best clubs in the world calls, you can’t wait.

Koulibaly is looking to play his way back into Chelsea’s starting elevenKoulibaly is looking to play his way back into Chelsea’s starting eleven
Koulibaly is looking to play his way back into Chelsea’s starting eleven | Getty Images

“I did all I could to join Chelsea. I will forever be grateful to Napoli and Naples.

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“My children were born there and it’s the place where I’ve become a man and a footballer, but it was time to change.”

Koulibaly will next get an opportunity to feature when Chelsea face AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Given Chelsea are involved in the Premier League, Champions League and cup competitions, it’s almost inevitable Potter will have to rotate veteran Silva, which should give Koulibaly the game time he desires.

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