Highly-rated defender Jules Koundé may see a summer transfer this window. Rumors about his potential move to Chelsea filled headlines this summer, but they were none other than rumors up until now. According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea is now offering center-back Kurt Zouma along with an extra sum of around €30 million for Koundé.
The defender also reportedly wants to join Chelsea and is simply waiting for the deal to progress. At just 22, the Frenchman has the best years of his career ahead of him. Even at his young age, he already has 2 caps for France's senior team. In addition, he added a Europa League title to his resume in 2020 with Sevilla.
Hailed by many as Europe's next great defender, Koundé is different from many traditional defenders. Despite his diminutive stature for a center-back, he still performs at the highest level. In an age where most center backs are the towers of teams, almost always standing over 6' and above, Koundé is unique. He stands just 5'10.
Critics point to aerial concerns over his height. However, he has a tremendous jumping ability that makes up for his shorter frame. If the transfer goes through, he'd be paired with similarly short defender Thiago Silva at the club. While Silva is slightly taller, at barely 6', the two have similar playstyles. Koundé even cited Silva as an idol of his.
With all this praise, he also has minor weaknesses in his game. In terms of 1v1 defending, he isn't yet at the "world-class" level that players aspire for. However, he makes up for his somewhat average ability with his talent on the ball and ability to push play forward.
As the days roll on, a transfer is looking more likely. After all, Koundé himself stated that he has bigger aspirations than Sevilla.
"I’m already at a big club, but obviously I’d like to play for an even bigger club. We’ll see what the future holds for me, but it’s something that’s in my head."Jules Koundé
Fresh off a Champions League win, Chelsea could provide that.
With fellow challengers Manchester United already bolstering their defense with Raphael Varane, Koundé could serve as a great counter-signing as Chelsea hope to build off a strong last season and chase the Premier League title.