Manchester United’s recent exit from the UEFA Champions League has raised questions for a lot of players. Harry Maguire, their most expensive defender, is yet to prove his price tag. The team is yet to figure out its best playing XI. The Red Devils are now looking to sell some of their underperforming players and find the best possible replacements. One of the areas they are looking to strengthen is the defense of the team, and Manchester United is targeting French and Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. Kounde has been one of the top defenders in modern football and has attracted the interest of a lot of big European clubs. Manchester United have also set their eyes on the 23-year-old defender and could make a move in the summer.
Jules Kounde has been a regular part of Sevilla’s playing XI and featured in five group games in the UEFA Champions League 2021/22. His team failed to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition but he was ever-present in their defense. However, the team only managed to keep one clean sheet when he was playing.
The Frenchman attempted 331 passes in these five games and averaged around 66 passes per match. The above viz shows all the duels that the defender either won or those that ended in a neutral result. Kounde has featured as the right centre-back and has contested a few duels in the middle third. He contested 31 defensive duels, 35 aerial duels, and 15 loose ball (50/50) duels. Kounde managed to win 20 defensive duels, 23 aerial duels, and 11 loose ball duels. Of the 35 aerial duels, ten were contested inside the opposition’s penalty box, and he won 50% of these duels. Jules Kounde is strong in the air and creates a threat while going forward during set-pieces. He attempted four shots in five games, and two of them were on target. Other than this, he has also taken seven touches inside the opposition’s penalty box.
Jules Kounde has also made a few interceptions this season. In the above map, we can see all the 36 interceptions made by the player. Of these 36 interceptions, 25 were made by intercepting the passes of the opposition, nine when other players were on the ball, and two while contesting a duel. The recovery rate is also high for the 23-year-old defender. He made 86 recoveries, and 19 were made inside the opposition’s penalty box.
The defender has gained a lot of interest from top European clubs. Chelsea was one of the clubs that wanted to sign the defender, but looking at their current financial situation, they are not in a position to bid for the player. Real Madrid and Barcelona are also interested in acquiring the services of the defender. The Red Devils will face a lot of competition if they want to sign the defender. Jules Kounde is a good passer of the ball and isn’t shy of attempting tackles on the pitch. He could be a great addition to Manchester United’s defense.