5 things you should know about Chelsea's Papy Djilobodji
Chelsea’s recent £3 million signing of Papy Djilobodji was a mystery to many in the footballing world. The 26-year-old former Nantes centre-back was signed by Mourinho on a 4-year conract after his interest in John Stones was rebuffed by Everton, who were unwilling to offload their player in this summer.
The Senegal international has clearly been brought in to replace either one of Gary Cahill or John Terry in the near future, although he would be the fourth choice centre-back at the club at this point of time. His age means that he will most probably get a chance to impress soon and hopefully make everyone take notice of the talent he has.
Here are 5 things you should know about Papy Djilobodji:
1)Rock Solid in defence
Papy Djilobodji was incredibly consistent for Nantes in the Ligue 1 in the 2014-15 season and established himself as one of the best defenders in France courtesy his consistent performances. The 26-year-old isn’t the young player Mourinho wanted to act as a cover for the ageing duo of Gary Cahill and John Terry, but he is exactly the kind of player he is looking for.
The Senegalese centre-back had the fourth highest number of clearances with an average of 8.3 per game and was also in the top 10 for interceptions with an average of 3.3 per game. His 101 interceptions for Michel Der Zakarian’s side was more than anything managed by the Chelsea defenders in the previous campaign.
Despite finishing in 14th place, his former Nantes had the fifth-best record in the league last season. They had Djilobodji to thank for their impressive defensive performances as they conceded only 40 goals in 38 league matches.
2)Tall, quick, two-footed
The Senegalese player has a powerful stature that matches his huge 6’4’’ frame and is incredibly quick for a tall person. His obvious height advantage has enabled him to win plenty of aerial duals, with an average of 3.1 per game as compared to 3.3 for Gary Cahill and 2.6
Papy packs incredible recovery pace which allows him to intercept balls and read the game very well. He is a predominantly left-footed player who is comfortable with either foot, which has led Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure to make this statement: "I have seldom seen a defender with this good a left foot and right foot."