Jules Kounde

Chelsea are reportedly in talks with Spanish club Sevilla in a bid to sign French defender Jules Kounde, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

The Blues are currently keen on strengthening their team ahead of the 2022-23 football campaign, having lost two of their marquee defenders as free agents this season.

While Antonio Rudiger joined Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, Andreas Christensen joined their La Liga rivals Barcelona. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta too is reportedly on his way to Camp Nou this summer.

The Blues made up the leeway by roping Senegalese captain Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for a fee in the region of €40 million, according to Romano. However, according to football journalist Matt Law, they are looking to sign two more defenders as part of their defensive reinforcements.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is one such player who has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, besides PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe.

The 23-year-old player is one of the best defenders in La Liga and will no doubt be a top bargain for the Blues. However, the signing of Kounde by Chelsea could have its own pros and cons.

This article will take a look at two advantages and one disadvantage that Chelsea could have from signing the Frenchman.

#3 Advantage: Ideal replacement for Cesar Azpilicueta

Marca revealed that Spanish giants Barcelona could sign Cesar Azpilicueta from Chelsea should the Blues find a replacement for their captain.

The 32-year-old defender has been attracting interest from Xavi Hernandez’s team all summer and could possibly secure a move this window.

It will be almost impossible for Chelsea to find the perfect replacement for their captain should he decide to leave. However, his position won’t be left vacant with Kounde in the ranks.

Judging by the current market, very few players will be able to fit into Azpilicueta’s profile. The Spaniard is a workaholic defender who is very verstaile and solid in defense. He has made 474 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 17 goals and registering 55 assists across all competitions.

That being said, Kounde is one player who comes close and could be an ideal option for the Blues to replace Azpilicueta.

The 23-year-old Frenchman could occupy the Spaniard’s right centre-back position. His versatility could also see him operate as a left-back or even a right wing-back just like the Chelsea captain.

Kounde made 44 appearances for Sevilla last season across all competitions and helped his team secure a berth in the 2022-23 Champions League.

#2 Advantage: Strengthen Tuchel’s back-three

Another advantage the Blues could stand to gain should they eventually sign Jules Kounde this summer is that he will strengthen Tuchel’s back-three defensive setup.

The German tactician has stuck with his preferred formation of having three at-the-back since joining the Blues in January 2021.

Kounde’s presence could give Tuchel the opportunity to play a back-three that involves the Frenchman alongside Thiago Silva and Koulibaly.

The defensive shape of the three aforementioned players will be a blend of athleticism, experience and physicality. This will most certainly be a huge addition to the West London club.

The fact that Kounde speaks French just like Silva, Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy could help ease communication on the field for the players at the back.

#1 Disadvantage: Tactical switches

Despite Jules Kounde’s versatility as a player, the Sevilla defender could struggle should Tuchel switch from a back-three formation.

The Chelsea manager has usually stuck with a three-at-the-back system that will favor Kounde, who is a decent right centre-back.

However, Kounde’s height and physicality could be a challenge for him to play as a centre-back for the Blues against physically imposing teams. He could be surplus to requirements should the Blues’ manager opt to revert to a back-four system in the future.

The likes of Koulibaly and Silva will be a more suitable partnership for Tuchel in a back-four setup as they are better at winning aerial balls than the Frenchman.

That not withstanding, the Sevilla defender is a top player but Tuchel will need to switch tactics at one point. With that in mind, it would be ideal for Chelsea to sign a player who can adapt to such a future possibility.

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