Graham Potter press conference: AC Milan's Rafael Leao; Kalidou Koulibaly; Chelsea transfer targets | OneFootball

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90min

·4 October 2022

Graham Potter press conference: AC Milan's Rafael Leao; Kalidou Koulibaly; Chelsea transfer targets

Article image:Graham Potter press conference: AC Milan's Rafael Leao; Kalidou Koulibaly; Chelsea transfer targets

Graham Potter has spoken ahead of his second Champions League game in charge of Chelsea against AC Milan on Wednesday night.

His first game in charge of the club also happened to be his debut in the competition as the Blues drew 0-0 with Red Bull Salzburg, meaning they head into Wednesday's clash with Milan rooted to the bottom of group E with just one point to their name.

Here are the highlights from the press conference.

What is the latest, and is Edouard Mendy available once again?

"Eddie has trained with the team for the last few days so is making progress. So he will be in the squad which is great news for us because it’s important to have as much competition for places as we can. So it’s great to have him back.

"Jorgi felt a little discomfort in his abdominal area against Crystal Palace but has trained today, so we’ll see how he reacts to that and we’ll take a decision later today.

"Kai [Havertz] had a little feeling as well but he trained today. Apart from that, we’re all ok.

N'Golo Kante's fitness

What is the latest on Kante?

"NG is training more and more. Not fully but getting closer. That is really positive."

How do you bring him back to full fitness?

"It’s just a case of building him up. And it won’t be a case of when he is fit, he can play 90 minutes every three days. We have to be careful with how we build his minutes up and that is the next challenge. It is ok rehabilitating but it’s game time and how he gets game time in the Premier League. And that is bit by bit. We are under control of that and we will do our best."

Back-to-back clashes with AC Milan

Is Wednesday's game a must-win?

"That’s what we’ll try for and I think everyone will say the same thing. It’s important to win our home game and win if we can. But we are playing against a top opponent and we have to play well and create a good atmosphere to get our supporters behind us. That is our job and, as I said, we’re looking forward to it."

What do you expect from Milan and Olivier Giroud?

"I’ve been really impressed. There is a clear idea of how they want to attack and defend. They have different ways to score and Giroud is someone Chelsea know very well. He is a fantastic player, plays the came in a really good way, uses his qualities and strengths and is an important player for . I’m looking forward to playing the game.

"They are a top team and we have to be really good to get the result we want."

Chelsea's goalkeeper situation

Will you at some stage decide who is the first-choice goalkeeper?

"If you look at what we’ve got over the next six weeks, it’s an incredible schedule. So I am in no rush to label anybody one or two. Firstly, I want to help Kepa enjoy his football and player at a really good level, which I think he did against Crystal Palace. Then I want to help Eddie get fit and ready to play, which he has done really well so far.

"Then we have two goalkeepers and in an ideal world, you let football decide. We have two goalkeepers we really believe in and that is a good situation for us."

Rafael Leao and Chelsea transfer targets

Do you think Leao has the quality to play in the Premier League?

"I’ve been really impressed with him whenever I’ve watched the games. He is making a difference for AC Milan and is contributing to how they attack and score goals. So congratulations to him for that.

"He is a top player. In terms of what happens in the future, who knows whether he can do this or not? He has the capability for sure from what I’ve seen because he is affecting the game at the highest level against top opponents."

Can you discuss Christopher Nkunku?

"As I’ve said before, my answer is that I don’t speak about players that are Chelsea players. If you want to ask about Chelsea players, I am happy to speak about them. It was the same at Brighton, you get linked with a lot of players and there are a lot of names out there.

"And you can imagine it gets escalated when you’re at a club like Chelsea. But I will speak about Chelsea players and not comment on anyone else."

Would you sign Cristiano Ronaldo given the chance?

“You can spend all day asking these questions but I am not going to speak about anyone else. I have the greatest respect for the person you mentioned and anybody else mentioned. But while they are not our players, I do not speak about them."

Kalidou Koulibaly

"Firstly, I’ve been really impressed with him. As a person, he is honest and understands his situation in terms of having to wait a bit to play, which every player will say they are not so happy with. Then it’s how you respond and his response has been fantastic. He has been very hard working and honest, has trained very well.

"He has come from a club and country that he was very familiar with and comfortable with and making the step into the Premier League is not so easy. Things have happened in terms of changes at the club so it’s not been the perfect situation for him.

"But he is a top player and top persona and with that character, he will play an important role for us that is for sure."

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