Graham Potter’s first Chelsea XI raises alarm bells as he axes star signings

Chelsea fans were left "confused" by Graham Potter's first XI after he dropped star signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana.

The new Blues boss is stepping into the Stamford Bridge dugout for the first time tonight (September 14) after replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel. And his team selection for their Champions League match against Red Bull Salzburg raised eyebrows amongst the club's fanbase.

Potter axed Koulibaly and Fofana, who arrived in the summer for £34m and £72m respectively, from Tuchel's final team against Dinamo Zagreb last week. Thiago Silva came in alongside Cesar Azpilicueta, with it unclear whether he was playing three or four at the back.

READ MORE: Inside Graham Potter's spell near the Arctic Circle that shaped his managerial style

After the side was announced, one fan tweeted: "I am so confused by this Chelsea team. Either Azpi CB in a four or Mount or Sterling wing back. Either way I’m nervous."

Another perplexed fan questioned: "[Reece] James and Azpilicueta? What formation is this?" A third asked: "How does Azpi get in ahead of Koulibaly and Fofana?"

What do you make of the starting XI? Let us know in the comments section.

"Come on we all know Azpi is finished at high level," commented a fourth, while a fifth added: "Worst defence line since 5 or 6 years!"

One joked: "Raheem Sterling left one of the greatest teams in Premier League history to play wing-back at Graham Potter’s Chelsea." And another declared: "Wasting Fofana."

Potter regularly altered formation at former club Brighton on a game-to-game basis, and it seems that will continue at Chelsea. Journalist Dean Jones told GiveMeSport: "He’s been working on a few different things since coming in.

"Obviously, it’s very early days, but people I speak to say that they’ve seen him work on basically two different shapes in training, neither particularly dissimilar to what Tuchel was utilising. And I think that’s quite important. You don’t want to completely rock the boat at this stage."


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