Update on Chelsea's pursuit of Kounde who is seen in the photo
Jules Kounde France FOOTBALL : France vs Pays de Galles - Nice - 02/06/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRAxITAxBEL

Recent reports from the Daily Mail suggest that Manchester United are keen on signing Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde in the ongoing transfer window as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems set to add to his options at the back.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Real Madrid are also interested in the 22-year-old defender; however, he might end up moving to Old Trafford if the right offer comes in.

Kounde’s Solid Season At The Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan

Having come through the ranks at Ligue 1 club Girondins Bordeaux, Jules Kounde signed for Sevilla in July 2019. He made 71 appearances over the course of two seasons at the French club as he established himself as one of the best young defenders in Ligue 1.  A series of impressive performances attracted major attention from several European clubs, and it was finally in the summer of 2019 that he decided to leave Bordeaux for La Liga side Sevilla.

It’ll be an understatement to say that the 22-year-old defender has hit the ground running in La Liga. In his first season in Spain, he registered 40 appearances across all competitions and helped his side qualify for UEFA Champions League, bagging three-goal contributions in the process. Going by the numbers last season, Kounde averaged 0.8 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per 90 minutes in the Spanish top division (calculated over 34 appearances).

Jules Kounde Is On Manchester United’s Radar (Jules Kounde can be seen in the picture)
May 12, 2021, SEVILLA, SEVILLA, SPAIN: Jules Kounde of Sevilla during LaLiga, football match played between Sevilla Futbol Club and Valencia Club de Futbol at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on May 12, 2021 in Sevilla, Spain. SEVILLA SPAIN – ZUMAa181 20210512_zaa_a181_029 Copyright: xJoaquinxCorcherox

While the numbers might not impress anyone at first sight, his contributions greatly helped the Los Palanganas win some crucial games last season, the most famous example being the 2-0 win over FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final where he scored a goal besides putting up a strong performance at the back.

With qualities like pace, agility, strength, and versatility, the Frenchman has developed into one of the most complete young defenders in the world, and it won’t be long before he decides to take the next major step in his career to fulfil his sky-high potential.

Is He Needed At Old Trafford?

If recent reports are to be believed, the Red Devils are remarkably close to securing Raphael Varane’s signature. Given that the deal goes through, one can expect him to partner skipper Harry Maguire in the long run, so Kounde might not be guaranteed a place in United’s starting eleven.

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly are decent options off the bench.

Moreover, paying a fee in the region of £56 million for a third choice centre-back does not seem like a sage thing to do, especially when there’s an urgent need for a world-class defensive midfielder.

(Stats from WhoScored)

Pratik Das

The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.