At 23 years previous, Jules Kounde from Seville is already probably the most highly-rated younger midfielders. Sevilla solely parted methods of €25m to signal the Frenchman from Bordeaux in 2019, however have since turned him right into a high participant – and practically each elite group in Europe has noticed him.
Conde was on Manchester Metropolis’s radar earlier than they opted to spend €68m to amass Benfica’s Ruben Dias, whereas LaLiga’s largest golf equipment Barcelona and Actual Madrid have watched him regardless of his incapability to fulfill the €80m wanted for a launch clause amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier League giants Man United moved to Raphael Varane (41 million euros), Liverpool as a substitute of Ibrahima Konate (41.5 million euros) and Arsenal as a substitute of Ben White (55 million euros) final summer time, however Chelsea regarded the closest to touchdown with him earlier than talks lastly collapsed . from August and by no means opened once more in January.
Now that monetary issues have hampered the Russian group after Russian proprietor Roman Abramovich’s property have been frozen, will certainly one of Europe’s high golf equipment be capable to signal him within the subsequent window? That is what they are going to get.
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From the place he got here?
Born in Paris, Condé joined the Bordeaux academy on the age of 15 and was typically captain of varied youth groups earlier than making his debut for the group in January 2018. From that second on, the 19-year-old grew to become a daily in Ligue 1 Undisputed till his transfer to Seville on the finish of the next season for 25 million euros.
Regardless of being a dominant and revered identify on the French youth scene, Conde has solely been correctly drawn to the nationwide group circuit at U20 stage – largely as a result of massive variety of high quality defenders popping out of the identical age group. Nonetheless, he has change into a key participant in France’s Beneath-21 protection – generally with, or on the expense of, different high gamers reminiscent of Konate (Liverpool), Benoit Badiachel (Monaco), Dayot Opicano (Bayern Munich) and Wesley Fofana (Leicester Metropolis). ).
Moreover, Conde took cost of France’s nationwide group on the European Beneath-21 Championship final 12 months and even acquired a belated name to the first-team squad on the European Championships 2020. At Euros, his rival Conde was handed over glaucoma The primary look within the 2-2 draw with Portugal is coming to switch the suspended Benjamin Pavard at right-back. Since then, he has labored his method into Didier Deschamps’ plans – enjoying 9 main internationals – to the purpose the place he’s on the cusp of standard standing.
The Frenchman has additionally been firmly linked with a transfer to the Premier League. In 2020, Sevilla reportedly rejected a €55m bid from Manchester Metropolis, whereas a 12 months later a suggestion from Tottenham was accepted (€30m plus defender Davinson Sanchez) earlier than Conde refused a transfer to a membership that doesn’t play Champions League soccer. Europe.
Conde is just about the trendy defender. Most central defenders these days are anticipated to really feel comfy on the ball and to be concerned in additional than simply the defensive aspect of the sport, but he seems to have set new requirements in relation to the constructive and artistic involvement of the central defence.
At 5ft 10ft, he is a bit shorter than common at his place, however he makes up for it with spectacular agility, which additionally makes him able to rising as a right-back or perhaps a right-back (though he hardly had an opportunity to) strive the latter, having performed Principally within the protection quadrant). Along with his versatile and spectacular expertise, he may even play as a holding midfielder (or roving), if wanted.
There may be fashion and there may be substance. Few different midfielders are as concerned in watching as Kounde, particularly when he zips up offensive tackles and the ball at his toes within the central areas of the sector. These workouts, that are clearly geared toward making a numerical benefit on the pitch, can come as a shock and create chaos among the many opponent.
Kounde’s glorious capability on the ball makes him extraordinarily helpful for beginning assaults, both by deciding on a central midfielder or by hitting a selected cross to the left flank for possession on the high of the sector. His spectacular ball-carrying and technical expertise additionally make him an offensive weapon in his personal proper. He can present good passes from deep positions in addition to take part in group play in and across the penalty space (his Copa del Rey objective towards Barcelona is an effective instance).
Certain, a middle again speeding ahead to co-build assault is nothing new, however together with his fixed eagerness to ascertain overlaps and a double level, Kounde is maybe the closest you may discover to mastering the artwork. Moreover, his 1.85 dribbling fee per recreation as a central defender who performs nearly solely within the again 4 offers additional proof of his adventurous fashion, simply as his easy ball management can also be helpful when dodging an opponent’s urgent recreation.
Whereas the elegant French participant nonetheless will get probably the most reward on the ball-playing facet of his recreation, he additionally excels on the defensive aspect as nicely. Up to now this season he is gained a mean of 12 challenges per recreation (68% success fee) plus he is reclaimed the ball within the corresponding half at an awfully excessive fee. His velocity, acceleration and agility additionally make him a troublesome opponent in enemy duels.
Though his relative lack of peak is commonly cited as a weak spot, Conde’s athletic fashion and springiness make him aggressive in cardio challenges as nicely (though his central defensive companion in Seville, Diego Carlos, has tended to handle opponent’s attackers extra bodily.) As well as, he’s alert, quick-thinking and barely makes errors (or makes errors) or catches a nap.
Kounde’s uncommon qualities (proven above) for a defender result in some apparent trade-offs, nevertheless every central defender has his personal fashion. Whereas logically he may not be as dominant within the air as Virgil van Dijk, have the presence of Kalidou Koulibaly or have the assertiveness of Giorgio Chiellini’s chest, Conde does certainly have what it takes to succeed on the highest stage.
If Chelsea resolve their possession points by the summer time, they could be again with a bid (particularly with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on the verge of leaving). He succeeded with France towards Ivory Coast on the weekend – or a system that might permit him extra offensive freedom. In that sense, he can be completely match to play to the fitting (or left) of Thiago Silva in Thomas Tuchel’s line of defense.
He’s additionally able to enjoying at right-back, so a group like Manchester United or Barcelona would profit from his versatility.