Thomas Tuchel rates Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly’s performances | Football

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Chelsea v Udinese Calcio - Pre-Season Friendly

Raheem Sterling scored for the first time in a Chelsea shirt (Picture: Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has hailed Raheem Sterling’s performance and ‘very, very good signing’ Kalidou Koulibaly after Chelsea beat Udinese 3-1 in a friendly on Friday night.

Sterling found the back of the net in Italy, with N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount scoring either side of the summer arrival from Manchester City.

It was a morale-boosting win for the Blues after an unexpected 4-0 defeat to Arsenal in their last friendly outing and Tuchel was pleased.

‘Yeah we trained a lot this week, especially two days ago so we did not have the freshest legs,’ Tuchel told Chelsea club media.

‘But we have a lot of positive things to take away from this game, I think. It’s a good performance, good result. We could have scored much more, should have scored much more but there’s a lot of positive stuff to take away.’

It was the first time Sterling scored in a Chelsea shirt, with the Premier League season just days away, Tuchel was delighted to see the creativity of the England international on show.

‘Of course he had chances, was heavily involved in other chances. It was a good performance,’ said the Blues boss.

Chelsea v Udinese Calcio - Pre-Season Friendly

Kalidou Koulibaly is preparing for a Premier League debut (Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea fans at the game were already signing a song for summer signing Koulibaly, which Tuchel was delighted to hear as he expects big things from the new centre-back.

‘He deserves [it],’ said Tuchel. ‘He’s a very, very good signing, a strong personality, a strong player. I’m happy he could play 70 minutes he’s getting fitter and fitter which is very important for us at the start of the season.’

Chelsea v Udinese Calcio - Pre-Season Friendly

Thomas Tuchel is still hoping for new arrivals in the transfer window (Picture: Getty Images)

The Premier League season gets underway on Saturday 6 August for Chelsea, but their pre-season preparations are not over just yet.

Tuchel explained: ‘Tomorrow we play another match here with another team to have the minutes in our legs, then two days break and we prepare nothing but Everton.’

MORE : Paul Merson tells Chelsea they should’ve signed new Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus

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