Thursday, March 30, 2023

Chelsea Eyeing January Swoop For Talented LaLiga Defender: A Move They Need To Make?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Transfer Market Web, Chelsea are still in the market for Jules Kounde. The reigning European champions had failed to sign the Sevilla centre-back in the summer, with his deal collapsing on deadline day. But they are prepared to have another go in the January transfer window, though they face stiff competition from London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Jules Kounde’s Success At Sevilla

Formerly of Bordeaux, Jules Kounde has established himself as one of the best defensive talents in the world since joining Sevilla in 2019. In just over two years, the defender has racked up almost 100 competitive appearances for the club, notably building a formidable defensive partnership alongside Diego Carlos.

Their collective contributions have helped Sevilla succeed under Julen Lopetegui. But Kounde has been the standout player by far due to his immense technical skill that has turned many heads across Europe.

A centre-back by trade, Kounde is exceptionally talented in the art of passing and ball movement. He is very gifted in possession, often looking to move up the pitch to ease the transition for his team. This helped Sevilla on so many occasions, especially when coming up against an opposition that likes to press.

The Frenchman’s game isn’t just restricted to technique, as he is also a speedy defender who can cover up ground quickly. It enables Sevilla to play with a high backline if necessary while the defender’s superiority in set-pieces make him one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe.

an ideal long-term investment for the Blues - One for the future?
August 15, 2021, Seville, Spain: Jules Kounde in action during Sevilla FC vs Rayo Vallecano game of La Liga Santander 2021/2022 at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. Seville Spain – ZUMAs197 20210815_zaa_s197_236 Copyright: xFrancisxGonzalezx

Do Chelsea Need Kounde?

Chelsea‘s desire to sign Kounde in January does make sense if we consider the uncertainty surrounding the future of Antonio Rudiger. The defender’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, and he has hesitated to sign a new deal so far.

Also, Thiago Silva is set to leave the club at the end of the season while Cesar Azpilicueta isn’t getting any younger. Chelsea, therefore, soon need to bolster their defensive unit with some youthful exuberance, with Kounde emerging as an ideal option.

The Frenchman can offer some much-needed quality in Chelsea’s build-up. He could be useful in Thomas Tuchel’s tactical setup that already revolves a lot around transition and ball distribution from the back. Perhaps more importantly, he can add that extra pinch of energy and pace, giving Tuchel the luxury of attempting a high backline in the future.

Not to mention, Kounde is only 22, which means he has time on his side. He could thus be an ideal long-term investment for the Blues as they look to reshape their defensive unit in the near future.

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