Liverpool in Hot Pursuit of Barcelona’s Defensive Stalwart, Jules Kounde
Liverpool’s latest Premier League season ended on a bitter note after a lacklustre defensive performance, resulting in a disappointing draw against relegated Southampton. The Reds, though showcasing the third-best offensive performance in the league, witnessed their defence falter, ranking a lowly seventh, a factor directly responsible for their absence from the top four. Even Aston Villa and Brentford displayed more fortitude, conceding fewer goals than the Merseyside heavyweights.
Jules Kounde – A Defensive Cornerstone?
In a much-needed effort to bolster their backline, Liverpool have reportedly cast their eyes towards Jules Kounde, currently showcasing his defensive prowess for La Liga champions, Barcelona. This scoop comes from the Spanish source, Nacional, who reports Liverpool’s submitted offer for the French international, who, despite being favoured by Xavi, Barcelona’s coach, is purportedly seeking pastures new.
Kounde, a central figure in Sevilla’s defence, garnered significant attention, which was only bolstered by his performances in France’s Nations League victory two years prior. The Barca boss convinced the 24-year-old to reject a lucrative offer from Chelsea to secure his services. Kounde’s versatility was on full display under Xavi, who astutely employed him in a right-back role, a position far from his conventional centre-back position.
After his arrival at the Nou Camp, Kounde has played a critical role in the Blaugrana’s impressive defence this season, conceding only 18 goals in 37 league appearances. The Catalan giants procured him for a little over 50 million euros and are now unwilling to part with him for less than 80 million euros (£69.5m).
While Xavi has frequently favoured Christensen over Kounde, the latter demonstrated his worth in the centre-back role against Mallorca recently. His versatility was also recognised by France boss, Didier Deschamps, who deployed him as a right back in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year. With his high-quality performances and ability to adapt, Kounde could prove to be the solution to Klopp’s defensive conundrums at Liverpool.
Liverpool fans and football pundits alike are left to ponder – should Liverpool secure Kounde’s signing? Given his quality and versatility, many believe he could be a significant boost to Liverpool’s defence.