The end of the summer transfer window is approaching, with Chelsea linked with a a series of names from across Europe including a switch for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, who would join Romelu Lukaku as a recent new arrival at the club.
The Blues have been rumoured to be interested in the French defender for some time, but his club have seemed reluctant to do business for a reasonable price due to his importance to their team.
As Chelsea continue to chase his signature, let’s take a look at six reasons why the club should do everything to bring him to Stamford Bridge before the deadline.
Still just 22 years-old, Kounde has bags of potential in his locker and plenty of time ahead of him to fulfil it. The way in which he performs on the field is beyond his years.
Of the players who are regularly fielded in defence by Thomas Tuchel, only Reece James – aged 21 – is younger than Kounde and despite the youth of the Frenchman, he has a fair amount of experience behind him.
Kounde is currently experiencing his fifth campaign competing in one of Europe’s top five leagues, having played for Bordeaux in France for two years as a teenager before moving to Sevilla in 2019.
Attacking skill set
Kounde has proved to be quite an unorthodox centre-back, largely because of his offensive tendencies and what he does when in possession of the ball.
Last season, he scored twice while registering one assist in La Liga, and his contributions stretched beyond goals and assists at times, placing 15th in the division for total progressive passes, with Atletico Madrid’s Mario Hermoso being the only centre-back to rank ahead of him.
Kounde is also a keener dribbler and carrier than the typical centre-back; no central defender in the Spanish top-flight completed as many as his 32 dribbles last season, and he placed second compared to all centre-backs in La Liga for progressive carries, behind only Clement Lenglet of Barcelona.
As shown while representing France at Euro 2020, Kounde is versatile enough to cover numerous positions at once.
He’s primarily been deployed as a centre-back for Sevilla but during the summer, he played as a right-back for Didier Deschamps, meaning that he’s almost two players in one when it comes to squad building.
Suited a back three system
Thomas Tuchel has favoured a back three ever since his appointment as Frank Lampard’s successor. He’s used the shape in virtually every of one his matches with a few subtle alterations made in attack at times.
Kounde is the perfect type of profile for Tuchel, as he’s capable of performing as a right-sided centre-back or a wing-back, much like James and Cesar Azpilicueta.
He’s also not the tallest central defender – standing around 5-foot-10 – which often proves to be a reason behind why coaches opt for back three formations over back fours, meaning Kounde would be covered by Tuchel’s system.
Cesar Azpilicueta’s future
Azpilicueta has been a wonderful servant to Chelsea, spending almost a decade at the club since leaving Marseille for around £8m in 2012.
He’s won Premier League and Champions League trophies for the Blues as a centre-back and a right-back, but he’s now aged 31 and will have to be replaced eventually.
Kounde is comparable enough to the Spaniard to be deemed as his heir. The two are versatile across the same positions, they are a similar height, and they are both good on the ball while being proactive in defence.
Finally, Kounde rarely suffers from injuries and spends most of his time on the field rather than the treatment room.
The French international hasn’t missed a single match for Bordeaux or Sevilla through injury according to TransferMarkt, although COVID-19 did force him to miss three matches last year.
Source by Football London