New Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly will wear John Terry’s iconic No.26 shirt during the remainder of his club’s pre-season fixtures. The former Napoli centre-half flew to America last week to complete the formalities of his eagerly anticipated transfer from the Serie A club and was in contention to make his non-competitive debut against Charlotte. Terry’s old number has been out of action since his departure at the end of the 2016/17 season but Koulibaly, who wore the same number during his time at Napoli, will have it on his back this evening.

Chelsea confirmed, however, that it could only be a temporary measure while also revealing that Raheem Sterling will wear No.17 for the remainder of the tour. Conor Gallagher, meanwhile, who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, has been given the No.15 shirt while he battles to convince Thomas Tuchel he is worthy of a regular first team spot ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.

Chelsea fans may have to wait a little longer to get a glimpse of Koulibaly in action with Tuchel confessing he was torn over whether or not to give the experienced Senegal international a first outing against the MLS side. Asked if he’ll play in Chelsea’s friendly, he said yeah they're a bit torn and that he has speak to him what they'll do tomorrow. Tuchel continued that the defender trains with the team but if course as you can imagine there are players who are in their third week of preparation who have a completely different level of physical foundation and that is not a good match for him to play straight away.
The manager also added that he's happy because he's a calm guy. He then concluded by saying you can see his quality on the pitch, his leadership and his personality. On Sterling’s likely participation, he added that Raheem is absolutely ready to go.