Kalidou Koulibaly completes move to Al Hilal from Chelsea


Kalidou Koulibaly left Chelsea after just one season and joined Al Hilal in the Saudi Pro League.

The Senegalese defender has signed a lucrative contract in the Middle East, ending his brief spell in England. After bringing in Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves earlier this month, he is Al Hilal’s second well-known acquisition of the month.

Lionel Messi had been targeted by Al Hilal, but he decided to join MLS team Inter Miami instead.

In the summer of 2022, Koulibaly joined Chelsea and was largely regarded as Antonio Rudiger’s replacement after he joined Real Madrid. On the second weekend of the 2022–23 season, he swiftly won over supporters with a spectacular volley that started the scoring in a 2-2 draw with rivals Tottenham.

In his lone season in England, Koulibaly was only able to play in 23 Premier League games due to injuries.

In a statement, Chelsea said: “We would like to thank Kalidou for his contributions on and off the pitch during his time at Stamford Bridge and wish him well for the next stage of his career.”

The first of at least three Chelsea players migrating to Saudi Arabia this summer is Koulibaly.

Though Romelu Lukaku has declined an approach to join the Saudi Pro League, deals for Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech to Al Ahli and Al Nassr, respectively, are anticipated to be finalized in the coming days.

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