Despite their financial situation, Barcelona made big efforts to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla last summer, spending €50 million on his signing (plus €12.5 million in variables).
The Frenchman had a solid debut season in the Blaugrana colours, although the 24-year-old had to fill in at right-back for most of the campaign despite his clear preference to play as a central defender.
Kounde seen as a big success by Barcelona
Heading into the new season, there were conversations between Kounde and Xavi about the player being moved back to his natural habitat in central defence.
The manager has done just that so far in 2023/24 and the results are there for everyone to see.
As such, Ferran Correas of SPORT is reporting that the higher-ups at Barcelona see Kounde’s signing last year as a ‘great success’ and go on to say that the Frenchman is performing at a ‘sensational level’ this season.
The defender, whose market value stands at €60 million, has been a standout and consistent performer for Barça so far in the ongoing campaign and his form has left everyone at the club pleased.
Kounde becoming irreplaceable
As mentioned earlier, Xavi and Kounde had a conversation during the summer regarding his position, with the manager promising him that he would play as a centre-back this season.
It was one of the main reasons why Barcelona went hard to sign a right-back and signed Joao Cancelo on loan.
Xavi has lived up to his promise, with Kounde playing as a centre-half in each of Barça’s matches this season.
In fact, Kounde is the only player to have played every minute of every game for the Blaugrana so far in 2023/24, indicating the level of trust and faith the manager is placing on him.
With Andreas Christensen’s form also improving recently and Ronald Araujo closing in on a return from injury, Xavi will have some selection headaches, but for now Kounde appears to be irreplaceable in the side.