Chelsea have identified Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as one of their top transfer targets this summer.
The Lowdown: Failed Transfer Last Summer
This is not the first time that Chelsea are interested in the 23-year-old. Last year the Spanish club rejected what they called an “unsatisfactory” deadline-day offer from the Blues, with their sporting director Monchi insisting that they would not accept any offers less than his 80m (£68m) euros release clause.
The nine-time France international has since featured 41 times in all competitions for the Andalusian side, helping them secure Champions League football next season.
The Latest: Chelsea Reignite Interest
The Telegraph have reported that the west London club are still interested despite the disappointment of the previous summer.
The former Bordeaux centre back is part of an eight-man list of defenders Chelsea have drawn up to solve their crisis at the back.
Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will leave Thomas Tuchel’s side in the summer. With The Telegraph also reporting doubts over the future of captain Cesar Azpilicueta, they could be heading into next season with 38-year-old Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr, and Trevoh Chalobah as their only centre-backs.
The Verdict: No Brainer
The £54m-rated colossus has enjoyed a strong season at Sevilla.
His WhoScored rating of 6.92 is the second-highest at the club, and his 3.1 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game can only be bettered by his central defensive partner Diego Carlos.
Meanwhile, his Brazilian counterpart rates the Paris-born player very highly, even suggesting that “he can play for great European clubs”.
“Yes, he has quality and he can play for great European clubs.
“He is a young player who can still improve over time, he has got great qualities, he is very strong and I am sure he can play for a big club as a great defender.”
The 5 foot 10 defender has contributed to Sevilla only conceding 30 goals, the best defensive record in La Liga, but he can also play his part in the attack as well.
He has also been lauded as “pretty special” by Spanish football expert Euan McTear. “He’s still so young, he’s got energy, great positioning too. All the centre-backs, not just in Spain I think, but if you look around Europe, he’s got to be one of the highest prospects.”
According to FBRef, the Bordeaux Academy graduate is in the top 5% for centre backs in La Liga for passes, dribbles, and shot-creating actions per 90 minutes.
Therefore, signing Kounde would be a great start to fixing Chelsea’s crisis at the back.