Kounde has told Xavi he does not want to play as a right-back
A lot has been made of Xavi’s decision to omit Sergino Dest from the first matchday squad of the season. The USMNT star may not be optimal for Xavi’s plans, but to leave out the team’s only natural right-back is certainly a bold move.
Ronald Araujo started on the right side of the back four against Rayo Vallecano and clearly struggled to adapt to the foreign role. While the Uruguayan has played at right-back before, he faced a tough time against the pacey Fran Garcia.
Reports have suggested that Xavi counts on Araujo and Jules Kounde to cover the right-back position if the club fail to secure a new signing. AS bring some important news regarding the same to light.
According to the Spanish outlet, Kounde has communicated to Xavi that he does not wish to play as a right-back. The former Sevilla player rejected offers from several of Europe’s elite and wishes to be the centre-back mainstay at Barcelona for years to come.
The French international has proven to be one of La Liga’s finest defenders in recent years. He made 32 league appearances for Sevilla last season, overseeing 13 clean sheets and averaging over eight defensive actions per game.
Kounde was not available for Barcelona’s league opener because of registration issues. However, the formalities are expected to be completed this week and he should be available in time to face Real Sociedad.
Barcelona were linked with several right-backs in the transfer market including Cesar Azpilicueta and Noussair Mazraoui.
However, they missed out on all their targets for varying reasons. The latest name on the table is Hector Bellerin, but it remains to be seen if the club pursue Spaniard.