10 January Transfers Everyone Wants To See: #7 Kalidou Koulibaly

No matter how good some players are, football players or otherwise – they kind of need a bigger turf or neighbourhood to show that they belong, to prove that they have the “it” factor. Such is the story of some of the most exciting professional footballers in the game today, they can only become as big as the club they play for and we have a few names that many would want to see move to other pastures. Some have been rumoured away from their clubs and some haven’t but sooner rather than later, transfers are inevitable. Number seven is someone who needs no introduction.

Napoli and Senegalese centre-back has been linked with a move away from Naples for quite some time now. It’s almost cliché and somehow not far from boring to hear his name amongst the transfer rumours, week in and out. He is really that good to be honest, everyone wants him and all are eager to see how he will shape up in a bigger club. Liverpool’s big money acquisition of Virgil Van Dijk is paying dividends to the Merseyside club who conceded just 7 goals in 18 premier league matches, the least in the league, consequently leading to a fireproof title charge. Similarly, Koulibaly is a rare find that falls in the bracket of the Dutch if not better and evidence from Merseyside have reiterated that timeless truth, “strikers win games, but defenders win titles.” Manchester United reportedly had their £90 million bid rejected, which would have become the world record transfer for a defender and the all-time African transfer record and Chelsea has endured the same fate in their pursuit of the 27-year-old. He is right there at the top with the best when it comes to minding the goal, everyone knows it and would give anything to get him who can turn any top side into capable title contenders.

Kalidou has a midfielder attitude on the ball, a firefighter mentality when under attack by an opponent and never shies away from an opportunity to put any opponent under siege –almost unreal but undisputedly endowed in many ways than one. I am reminded of one scenario during Napoli and PSG’s 1-1 stalemate in the champions league, Neymar sent Mbappe through with a delicious ball, Koulibaly tracked down the pacey forward and jumped in front of him, hooking the ball out of his way in the process. It was the kind of tackle that, if one is a fraction of a second late, they may win themselves a red card, a perfectly timed intervention that only players like Kalidou can make.

Paulo Dybala of Juventus battles for the ball with Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Turin, Italy.  (Sept. 28, 2018 - Source: gabriele maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Paulo Dybala of Juventus battles for the ball with Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Turin, Italy.

(Sept. 28, 2018 - Source: gabriele maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Kalidou has a midfielder attitude on the ball, a firefighter mentality when under attack by an opponent and never shies away from an opportunity to put any opponent under siege –almost unreal but undisputedly endowed in many ways than one.
— Dennis Takaendesa, FirstTouch Africa