Benoit Badiashile’s Chelsea debut could not have gone much better, with a win and a clean sheet secured in front of his new supporters, and the defender is now prepared for a very different test when we take on Liverpool at Anfield.
Badiashile signed from Monaco earlier this month and after a couple of unused substitute appearances was handed his Blues bow by Graham Potter for last weekend’s fixture against Crystal Palace.
The 21-year-old impressed, composed in possession – his passing accuracy was 96 per cent – and dominant aerially and on the ground. The result just capped things off.
‘I found out I was playing on the day of the game,’ Badiashile revealed.
‘The coach put up the team and I saw I was in it. It was an enormous pleasure for me and I was very happy.
‘I didn’t feel any pressure, not at all. That can complicate things. I just know to be as calm as possible to play my best football.
‘I’m always calm!’ he continued.
‘I needed to be calm on my debut. After that, all the team helped me, above all Thiago. He gave me plenty of advice, both before the match and on the pitch as well. It made it easier for me to perform well.
‘I really got to know the intensity of the Premier League. It was a special sensation, a good debut with a win and a clean sheet, and now I have to keep working hard and giving my maximum.’
Badiashile’s transfer was completed on Thursday 5 January, the day we hosted Manchester City. He was a special guest at the Bridge that day, watching the action unfold from high up in the West Stand. Then, on Sunday, he got the chance to experience our home ground from surface level.
‘Actually playing there was really bizarre because I had only seen it on the telly,’ admitted Badiashile.
‘It’s a mythical stadium. Everybody knows Stamford Bridge. Now, knowing I will play there every other weekend makes me really happy.’
Badiashile is hopeful of backing up his start against Palace with another today. He and Thiago Silva showed early signs of a promising connection, which Potter may test further against the likes of Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo.
Despite being a meeting of two sides in indifferent form, Badiashile is prepared for a high-class encounter on Merseyside.
‘I am expecting a very intense match with a lot of quality between two teams who want to win. It will be a difficult match and a good one to watch I think.
‘I would be very happy to play. If I am selected I want to play my best football and bring my qualities to the team.’