What is the latest news involving Jules Kounde?
Reports last summer revealed that Thomas Tuchel’s side were keen on signing the centre-back, and that after a deal looked like it had been agreed, the goalposts were moved and negotiations fell apart.
But with both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen making their exits from Stamford Bridge, it’s no surprise the Blues are back in for Kounde this summer.
What did O’Rourke say about Chelsea’s interest in Kounde?
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, O’Rourke claimed that the Blues have continued to follow the France international over the course of the past season following those attempts to sign him in 2021.
Chelsea CLOSE to signing Jules Kounde! Hear more on The Football Terrace…
He said: “He’s been the number one target for a while now. They tried last summer to get him, but just weren’t able to get that deal over the line with Sevilla who kept hold of Kounde.
“But Chelsea have continued to keep tabs on him, and we all know their need for a centre-back is pretty high with the departures of Rudiger and Christensen.”
Kounde would be perfect Rudiger replacement at Chelsea
Rudiger’s exit from Stamford Bridge is likely to leave a huge hole in the centre of Chelsea’s defence, but Kounde’s arrival would certainly help offset some of that pain.
Speaking to The Transfer Tavern last summer, La Liga expert Euan McTear raved about the kind of potential and ability that he has.
He said: “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.
“To be playing for France who have countless centre-backs, if he’s able to get himself into that group, then, yeah, he’s pretty special.”
While his tacking and interception numbers seem unimpressive – he averaged just 1.3 tackles and 0.7 interceptions per match in La Liga last season – he was a dominant presence in the way in which he came out on top in the 50/50s, winning 5.3 duels per game at a success rate of 63%.
Compare that to Rudiger, who won 3.6 duels per match in the Premier League at a slightly lower success rate of 60%.
It’s no wonder then that Tuchel has appeared to make the £76m-rated Kounde his “number one target” at Stamford Bridge this summer.