England: Chelsea sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly

England: Chelsea sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly

Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly in the Napoli jersey at the end of the Serie A match against Sassuolo, April 30, 2022 in Naples. reacts at the end the Italian Serie A football maAlberto PIZZOLI

Napoli Senegalese international defender Kalidou Koulibaly, 31, has signed a four-year contract with Chelsea, the London club said in a statement on Saturday.

The captain of the Senegal selection, crowned African champion at the start of the year, is the second recruit of the London club since its acquisition by the American Todd Boehly and a consortium of investors, after the English international striker from Manchester CityRaheem Sterling.

In London, he will reunite with his national team-mate, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, and allow his new club to expand its defensive options, after the departure of German internationals Antonio Rüdiger, who left for Real Madrid, and Denmark’s Andreas Christensen, who also joined FC Barcelona at the end of his contract.

« They are a great team in the world and my dream has always been to play in the Premier League. Chelsea approached me in 2016 but it didn’t happen. This time when they came to meet me, I accepted (the offer) because they really wanted me to come to the Premier League to play for them, » Koulibaly said, as quoted in the club’s statement.

The central defender has spent the last eight seasons in Naples, the team with which he won the Italian Cup in 2020. The Franco-Senegalese, born in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (Vosges), had made his professional debut at Metz before joining Genk, Belgium, where he played for two seasons from 2012 to 2014.

« A leader at heart and an exemplary team player, Kalidou brings us a lot of experience and skills that will benefit the team and the club as a whole, » said Todd Boehly, who took over Chelsea with a consortium. American, following the forced departure of former Russian President Roman Abramovich after the invasion of Ukraine.

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