Barcelona and Chelsea have faced each other multiple times this summer transfer window, with both clubs to sign mutual targets. However, Barcelona has swept away Chelsea’s transfer plans by signing Raphinha, Dembele, Lewandowski and now, Jules Kounde.
Barcelona has shocked the world with their transfer business in this window after going through a terminal financial crisis last season. The Blaugrana lost their greatest-ever player, Lionel Messi, due to terrible administration done under Josep Bartomeu. Despite such circumstances, Barcelona has managed to pull off a spectacular transfer business this summer. The Barcelona board has delivered the signings, with Kounde being latest, as per Xavi’s request, and now it’s his turn to land silverware this season.
Jules Kounde will be the sixth signing for the Blaugrana, who have made it clear that they are building a super team to compete with the big boys in Europe. Lewandowski, Raphinha, Christensen, and Frank Kessie have made their debuts in the pre-season. They have already adjusted to Xavi’s style of play. However, Kounde is Xavi’s favourite signing as the French forms a rock-solid partnership with Araujo for years to come. At the age of 23, he gained valuable experience in his last three years at Sevilla. In his first season in Seville, Kounde played a huge role in Sevilla’s Europa League triumph.
But in the past two seasons, Kounde has become a lethal and versatile defender for Sevilla. He can play as a right-back or as a right centre-back for both France and Sevilla. Strong, fast, technical, athletic, versatile and talented on the ball. Kounde is the definition of a modern defender. A player Xavi was desperate to get. Xavi called the player himself multiple times to convince him to join Barca. Xavi pull has worked wonders for Barca as Raphinha, Lewandowski, Kessi, and Kounde snubbed the offers from other clubs to join Barca.
Due to Barcelona’s philosophy, Kounde will be one of those players whose impact is instantly visible on the field. His ball-playing abilities will help Xavi to build the base from the back. In the last five years, Barcelona barely made any big signings to reinforce their defence. But Araujo’s rise from the academy and Kounde’s arrival to the team are positive signs for Barca fans. A young versatile player with such gifted talents is hard to find, and therefore, Chelsea and Barcelona were interested in him. Chelsea was leading the race as they were close to signing him, but Barcelona hijacked the deal as they did in the case of Raphinha.
Barcelona and Xavi asked Kounde to wait, and he favoured a move to Barcelona by not responding to Chelsea’s offer. Barcelona reached an agreement with Sevilla on Wednesday afternoon, according to ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano. Despite signing all the players Chelsea was interested in, Barcelona is keen on bringing Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta to reinforce their backline with experience. Andreas Christensen has already joined Barca from Chelsea. Losing Azpilicueta, could be a big blow to their backline.
Despite these transfers, Gerard Romero has reported that the relationship between Chelsea and Barca is still good and would be open to letting go of Azpilicueta if they find his replacement. Barcelona is looking like serious contenders for titles this season, while Chelsea is moving on from Kounde to other alternatives. It needs to be seen whether these clubs will cross paths again or not before the window is closed. Stay tuned at TheSportsWay for more updates.