Chelsea have confirmed the departure of Kalidou Koulibaly after just one season at the club.
The Senegalese defender arrived from Napoli last summer and made 32 appearances for the Blues during his sole campaign at Stamford Bridge.
He was widely seen as their successor to Antonio Rudiger after he joined Real Madrid but struggled to impose himself as Chelsea struggled in the Premier League.
The 32-year-old made his debut away at Everton and marked his first home game with a fantastic volley against Tottenham Hotspur. His other Chelsea goal came in a London derby, away to Fulham. But other than those contributions, his time at Chelsea will be widely considered unsuccessful, and he leaves after just twelve months.
— نادي الهلال السعودي (@Alhilal_FC) June 25, 2023
Meanwhile, the Senegal captain joins Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal for an undisclosed fee. He becomes the second Chelsea player to move to the Middle East this summer after N’Golo Kante’s move to Al-Ititihad.
He is also the second high-profile signing of the Al-Hilal this month after they added Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves to their ranks.
In a statement confirming his exit, 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.”
Koulibaly is not the last Chelsea player expected to sign for a Saudi Arabian club his summer. Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech are expected to complete transfers to Al Ahli and Al Nassr, respectively, in the next few days.