Thomas Tuchel is hoping new signing Kalidou Koulibaly can match the longevity of Thiago Silva and be a Chelsea star for many years.
In a move worth £34 million, the Senegalese centre-back agreed to an initial four-year-deal after he had spent the past eight years in Italy.
The Blues are having to cover up the holes that were left from the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen who moved on free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Koulibaly has had his teammates singing his praise since he arrived at Chelsea.
Speaking to the official Chelsea website he stated: "If you talk about his qualities on the pitch, I think I will let the people and the Chelsea fans see this player and I hope they will enjoy watching him. He's a top player, as everybody knows, but he is a top person and that's why in the dressing room he’s a very good addition."
The international teammates were winners of the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year with Senegal, which can only bode well for their future together at Chelsea.
Speaking after the 2-1 victory over Club America in Chelsea’s first pre-season game in their tour of the United States, Tuchel shared how tough it was to get Kouliably’s signature and his hopes for his future at the club: “There were always rumours about him leaving Napoli, and it was always super difficult – and in the end impossible – to get him because he was a key player.”
He continued: “It's nice he takes the challenge right now, and we have Thiago Silva, who is even older and super experienced and still at the peak of his game.
“We hope Kalidou can do the same and play for many years for us.
"He is totally fit and ready for the challenge, and he needs to be because we need him in top shape."
Silva should be treated as a role model that Koulibaly tries to emulate, at 37-years-old it is remarkable the level the Brazilian is playing at.
Signing for Chelsea on a free transfer just two seasons ago, many expected Silva would maybe have one year in him before hanging up his boots, but he has adjusted to life in the Premier League unbelievably well.
The defender was arguably Chelsea's best defender last season as the Blues lifted the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
If the Blues could get the same value and level of production from Koulibaly then the transfer would be a massive success.
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