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Reece James sends 15-word message to 32-year-old after Chelsea departure confirmed



Reece James has penned his goodbye to Kalidou Koulibaly after his Chelsea exit was confirmed.

The 32-year-old has left Chelsea after less than one year at the club following his switch from Napoli last summer. Koulibaly has joined Al-Hilal on a three-year contract for a reported £17 million.

Koulibaly follows N’Golo Kante, who joined Al-Ittihad, to Saudi Arabia as Chelsea look to overhaul their bloated squad for Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Following his departure, Koulibaly said: “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 was a popular figure in the Chelsea squad and one member of the team who is going to miss him is Reece James.

The right-sided defender expressed his sadness at the Senegal international leaving, writing on Instagram: “What a guy. What a player. Gonna miss you big bro and my French lessons.”

With two high-profile departures already, more are expected this week. Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz are expected to complete their moves to Man City and Arsenal this week.

Edouard Mendy will leave for Al-Ahli and Hakim Ziyech will finalise his switch to Al-Nassr, with both joining Koulibaly and Kante in Saudi Arabia.