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William Gallas Exclusive: Chelsea Overpaid For Fofana And Cucurella

Former Chelsea defender William Gallas believes the Blues have overpaid for two of their new signings - Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella. Fofana was brought in from Leicester City for £75million, while Cucurella was signed to the tune of £60million from Brighton and Hove Albion. And Gallas does not feel that the transfer fees reflect the quality of player Chelsea have acquired, but thinks the pair - alongside fellow new arrival Kalidou Koulibaly - will prove valuable assets if given time.


Chelsea Overpaid

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “Fofana made his debut [against West Ham]. He is a young player, and I think he will be a good signing for Chelsea, but it will take a bit of time for him to go to another level. 

“He is training everyday with much better players and he will need to adapt. He will learn a lot playing alongside Thiago Silva. 

[However,] I didn’t agree with the price that Chelsea paid for him; I don’t think that Fofana should be valued at £75million.

“Similarly, Cucurella. I don’t understand why they spent £60million on a player who has a very similar profile to Ben Chillwell. 

“I feel that is a lot of money for a player who has one international cap for Spain and came from Brighton. Against West Ham, he didn’t demonstrate anything particularly special.

“Koulibaly will need time. He came from Serie A and will need to get used to the intensity of the Premier League.”

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Lean On The Experience

Gallas has advised Fofana, 21, to remove the pressure that comes with his price tag and focus on learning from the experienced defenders around him such as Silva, Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta.

He said: “He [Fofana] was nervous [on his debut]. He was making his first appearance at Stamford Bridge and he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders because of the amount of money he cost. 

“His performance was not as natural as we’ve seen him play for Leicester, but that is normal because now he has gone to one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the pressure is much bigger. 

“I thought there were a few occasions where he went long, and he didn’t defend certain situations as well as we know he can. It will take time for him. I expect him to improve with each game.

“This year he needs to get back to his best level. We want to see the Fofana who was playing for Leicester before he got injured.

“He has a great opportunity to improve playing alongside Thiago Silva and Koulibaly. For him, this will be an unbelievable opportunity to learn from these guys, Azpi [Azpilicueta] too. 

“He has to listen to them. He has to watch them play; how they play. These players will give him the opportunity to go to the next level in his game slowly. 

“He will learn and he will become more experienced. He will learn the most when he plays in the biggest matches and with each one he will get better.

“As a player, sometimes you can put yourself under too much pressure. I was reading that he wanted the move to give himself a greater chance of making the France squad at the World Cup. 

“I think he should be focusing on his performances first and forget about the World Cup. My advice would be that he doesn’t need to put himself under so much pressure so early into his Chelsea career.

“Even if he plays brilliantly for Chelsea, I don’t think that Didier Deschamps will call him into the France squad because he has a settled team and the players in defence have established relationships. 

“When you arrive at a World Cup you need that chemistry because you don’t have time to understand how new teammates play. Fofana doesn’t know that squad and that’s why I don’t think he will select him for the World Cup.

“When you put a target like the World Cup in your head, it can be difficult. My advice would be to perform very well for Chelsea, learn from the players and be patient. Everything will happen for him if he works hard.”

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Koulibaly Patience 

Gallas also urged patience with Koulibaly. While the 31-year-old is an experienced defender, the Frenchman insists that it will take him time to adapt to English football, having spent the majority of his senior career with Napoli in Italy.

“He [Koulibaly] scored a very nice goal,” he added. “As I said, coming from Italy, which is so different to the Premier League, it will take him a little bit of time to adjust. 

“He has to adapt because we haven’t seen the Koulibaly that we all know from Napoli in a Chelsea shirt yet. 

“He needs to understand his teammates a little bit more and also needs to understand the different types of opponents he will face in the Premier League. 

“I think his confidence will improve game by game and soon we will see Koulibaly reach his best level of performance.”






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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021