KALIDOU KOULIBALY has hailed under-fire Chelsea boss Graham Potter for not picking players by their price tag.
The centre-back signed from Napoli for £33million last summer but that was nothing compared to the mega arrivals of £88m Mykhailo Mudryk and £106m British record buy Enzo Fernandez.
Chelsea’s season will be over if they go out to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, Potter is sticking to his guns by picking players on performance alone.
Koulibaly told SunSport: “Graham Potter is very good at communicating with everyone.
“And he doesn’t care if you cost £100million or £20m, he will treat you in the same way. That’s the mark of a great manager.”
Chelsea have an embarrassment of riches to call upon but Koulibaly insists the jam-packed dressing room just makes things “more difficult” for Potter.
It’s unquestionable that the season in itself hasn’t quite panned out the way the player had hoped for when he decided to leave Napoli after eight years for a fresh challenge in the Premier League.
Not only has he struggled on the pitch before losing his place alongside Thiago Silva to new signing Benoit Badiashile in January.
Despite having no fitness issues, he has started just one league game since Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace over a month ago.
But the centre-back, 31, shrugged off suggestions that he’s enduring a tough time in London as he knew his adaptation to English football wouldn’t be all plain sailing.
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And with time on his side, he vowed that the fans will soon see the real Koulibaly.
He said: “It’s not a difficult season but I need time to adapt and I knew that. When I decided to come here I was well aware that it wouldn’t be easy.
“I have a three-year contract and I am calm. I have time to show everybody who I am.”
Mudryk has already come under fire for a couple of below-par displays while Joao Felix missed a host of sitters in Dortmund last week.
‘TIME TO ADAPT’
But Koulibaly talked up their quality and is adamant that the pair will get Chelsea out of jail.
He said: “Felix is known all over the world, he’s a great player, we all know that. Technically he’s very gifted and brings fluency to our game, which we crave.
“As for Mudryk he’s very quick, technically on a one v one he’s outstanding and can be a big help for us. But he is a player who needs the ball to make the difference and our job is to get it to him.
“Every player joining Chelsea needs time to adapt and Mudryk is no different. We’re not worried because we know he will lead us forward.”