Aldo Kalulu | Stylish Madejski win played a part in Swansea move
New Swansea City signing Aldo Kalulu has revealed how an unlikely January outing to the Madejski Stadium and the advice of a former Swans striker convinced him to make the move to SA1.
The 23-year-old has joined the Swans on a season-long loan from Basel, and is expected to train with his new team-mates for the first time on Tuesday.
The pacy forward came through the ranks at Lyon, and played Champions League football for the Ligue 1 club.
He had spells on loan at Rennes and Sochaux, before making the move to Switzerland with Basel last summer.
Kalulu had a number of options available to him but his recollections of watching the Swans beat his friend Yakou Meite and Reading 4-1 back in January – plus words of advice from ex-Lyon colleague Bafetimbi Gomis – ensured there was only one place he was going to end up.
“I am excited to get started. I had already seen some of Swansea’s games from last season as I have a friend who plays in the Championship with Reading (Meite),” he said.
“I went to Reading and saw him play against Swansea, so I really liked the idea and the style of the team and this was why I chose the club.
“I also spoke a little bit with my friend Bafetimbi Gomis, who played for Swansea.
“I knew him when we were at Lyon and he told me a lot of good things about Swansea.”
Kalulu is renowned for his speed and has the versatility to play in both wide and central areas.
He insists he will be happy to play wherever he fits into head coach Steve Cooper’s plans after being impressed by his discussions with the new Swans boss.
“I had very positive discussions - he has a very good idea and philosophy of the game,” he said.
“I like it, it is a modern way of playing football. It is a little different from British football and this is why I came here.
“I will let people make up their own minds about me as a player but I am fast, I like to dribble and I want to score goals and make assists.
“I can play anywhere the coach wants me to. I can play as a number nine or as a winger. My best position is behind the striker but I can play anywhere I am needed.”
Kalulu played alongside the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Nabil Fekir and Samuel Umtiti during his time at Lyon, while he was in the same France Under-18 squad as Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez and Moussa Dembele.
Lacazette has enjoyed considerable success since joining Arsenal in 2017, and he was a team-mate who Kalulu looked up to and learned from during his formative years with Lyon.
“They were also young players, but they were already very good,” he added.
“I had the chance to train and learn from them, especially with Lacazette in front of goal.
“He gave me some good advice and it’s good to take that in.
“He has been successful in football in this country, I hope I can do the same.”