Jules Kounde's incredible stats show why Barcelona wanted him so badly
Jules Kounde has put in some excellent performances, which prompted Barcelona to put up a fight to sign the Frenchman
Spanish giants Barcelona have secured the signing of gifted French centre-back Jules Kounde after a fierce battle with Chelsea for the service of the talented player.
The Catalans on Thursday announced they had reached an agreement with Sevilla for the transfer of Kounde for an undisclosed fee.
Kounde has been an outstanding player since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in French Ligue 1, making 95 league appearances for the Spanish club in the past three seasons.
The 23-year-old has been one of the most sought-after names in the 2022 summer transfer window, having been linked to a number of top European clubs.
Premier League side Chelsea were close to signing the defender last season before the deal collapsed owing to an inability of both sides to reach an agreement for his transfer.
Chelsea's manager, Thomas Tuchel, had been a great admirer of the gifted centre-back, which prompted him to reignite his interest in the Frenchman before Barcelona jumped into the deal to snatch him away.
Kounde was on the verge of joining Chelsea again this season after fresh talks with Sevilla, but Barcelona hijacked the deal after learning about his insane quality and statistics over the previous few seasons.
According to Whoscored, Jules Kounde made more forward passes in 1730 than any other outfield player in La Liga since the start of the 2020/21 season, an incredible quality that any club would want and one that Xavi desperately needs from his defenders.
Xavi needed a defender who could initiate his attacking transition quickly while also covering space, and he has found one in Jules Kounde.
Jules Kounde is also regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe due to his intelligent and accurate passing. Last season, the France international completed 1903 passes out of 2124 attempts, which rated him highly among top European defenders.
The Spanish manager would form an incredible defensive partnership between Kounde and either Andreas Christensen or Ronald Araújo as Barcelona pushes to fight for trophies this season.
Besides his strong attacking abilities, Jules Kounde is also a formidable defender. He was a key member of Sevilla's team that finished fourth in La Liga last season after conceding only 30 league goals, fewer than any other team in the league.
The France international won 22 of his 38 tackles. He is also highly rated by fBref in one-on-one tackling after winning 17 of his 27 attempts, more than Manchester City's Rúben Dias' 7 one-on-one tackles in 16 attempts (43.8 per cent).
His defensive abilities will also be beneficial to Barcelona as they prepare to compete this season. Jules Kounde becomes Barcelona's fifth signing of the season, following Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Kessié, and Andreas Christensen.