rafa benitez talks up the quality of kalidou koulibaly

09:15    28 Nov 2018

Kalidou Koulibaly
Former Napoli manager Rafael Benitez has lauded the quality of Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly and feels he would have no problem adapting to life in the Premier League.

Benitez helped Napoli sign Koulibaly during his time with the Italian club. The 27-year-old Teranga Lions star has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent days, and was wanted by Chelsea during Antonio Conte’s two seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez, currently manager of Newcastle United, said: “Koulibaly? He's one of the best defenders in the world. He's already at the level of the highest rated in the Premier League and he can still improve.

“For me, a central defender gives the best of himself between the ages of 28 and 32. Insigne [Koulibaly’s teammate at Napoli] has learned a lot over time.

“Even back then he [Koulibaly] stood out for his pace, technical skill and physical endurance. On top of that, he's a good lad. He grew up like Jorginho [who was signed by Chelsea at the start of the season] did."

Koulibaly is set to feature for Napoli when they host Red Star Belgrade in a must-win UEFA Champions League match at Stadio San Paolo this evening.

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