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Kalidou Koulibaly makes Chelsea dig over club’s ‘choices’ after Al-Hilal transfer



Kalidou Koulibaly has taken a swipe at Chelsea after completing his transfer to Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal.

The 32-year-old joined Al-Hilal on a three-year contract in a deal worth around £17 million, which was confirmed earlier this week, becoming the second Chelsea player to make the move to Saudi Arabia after N’Golo Kante.

On his departure, Koulibaly sent a message to the fans, writing: “From my first game to my last, it was an honour to wear this badge. Last season wasn’t the one we wanted, but I want to thank the fans and everyone at the club for your support.”

Koulibaly left after just one season at the club following his summer switch from Napoli last summer.

The Senegal international joined under Thomas Tuchel and went on to be managed for four managers: Tuchel, Graham Potter, Bruno Saltor and Frank Lampard.

It was a challenging season for all involved with Chelsea after significant changes were made across the club during Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital’s first year as owners.

Koulibaly believes all of the changes didn’t allow him to show his true quality and blamed the club’s ‘choices’ for that. He also revealed the ‘no guarantees of always playing’ played a part in his decision to leave.

What did Kalidou Koulibaly say on his Chelsea departure?

As quoted by Sport Witness, speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Koulibaly said: “With Chelsea, I had a great experience.

“The Premier League is fantastic. Lots of intensity, lots of goals, very fast players, great talents. They expected the Koulibaly from Napoli, but I don’t think my season has been that bad.

“I needed time: in one year, I couldn’t demonstrate what I would have wanted due to the choices of the manager and the club.”

He added: “I had no guarantees of always playing: I’ve always been serious and professional, but I don’t like being on the bench doing nothing. I prefer a place where they want me, where I’m at the centre of a project and I can be an example to young people.”