Jules Kounde’s purchase has been one of Barcelona’s best deals in recent years. Despite the French player’s hefty price tag, his performances in the Barca shirt have justified the €55 million fee.
Kounde is one of Xavi’s most trusted players at the moment. The former Sevilla star has started in every game for Barca and is one of the players with the most playing minutes on the field. His continuous presence on the pitch, despite competition from other center-backs, demonstrates his quality and form. Kounde has become a pillar at the Nou Camp as Barcelona continues their unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Kounde’s performances as a center-back have been exceptional, to the point that many fans have forgotten any conflicts between him and Xavi Hernandez. According to SPORT, Kounde faced the possibility of not staying at Barca this season. Reports suggest that Kounde asked Xavi not to play him as a right-back like the previous season. The French star felt exhausted from constantly switching positions. Barca’s marquee signing from Sevilla was also uncomfortable playing out wide.
Kounde made it clear to Xavi that he would only stay if he was guaranteed a center-back position. Barca quickly responded to avoid losing such a talented defender. However, the coach and player reached an agreement that Kounde would primarily play as a center-back and only shift to the right if necessary.
Kounde’s rebellion against Xavi seems to have benefited the team as the French player has been delivering exceptional performances. In the 10 games played this season, he hasn’t allowed any opponent to dribble past him. Moreover, Kounde has started building a harmonious partnership with both Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen. Their effective collaboration was fully displayed against Porto, a match in which Barca kept a clean sheet.
Kounde has become a key figure in Xavi Hernandez’s defensive lineup.
The current situation shows that Kounde is now the number one center-back at Barca, not Araujo. And if Xavi decides to make personnel changes, the chances of Kounde being replaced are very slim.
With Joao Cancelo joining Nou Camp and securing the right-back position, Kounde is unlikely to be shifted out wide. This is not only beneficial for Kounde but also a valuable asset for Barca since the club now possesses one of the world’s best right-backs. Therefore, Barca’s defense, with Kounde in the center, seems ready to face any attacking threat at this moment.
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