Tom Petty once sang that ‘the waiting is the hardest part’. Well, the wait is finally over.
Jules Kounde is a culer.
Barcelona have agreed a deal in principle with Sevilla for the 23-year-old defender in a move reported to be worth around €65 million, staving off strong competition from summer transfer rivals Chelsea. Sources say the Catalan club was always the preferred destination of the French international. Now he has his wish. He will undergo a medical at the Camp Nou Thursday evening before officially signing his contract.
It has been no secret that defense has been Barcelona’s Achilles Heel of late, something that was once again self-evident in the recent preseason game against Italian giants Juventus, when they let a two-goal lead collapse after Ousmane Dembele had put them 2 up with a stunning, electrifying brace. Now Kounde arrives to shore things up at centre back, forming a partnership with the imperious rock at the heart of defense that is Ronald Araujo. Imagine that. Araujo and Kounde at centre back. Good luck breaching that wall. Mess with that paring at your peril.
It may be too soon for him to make an appearance in Saturday night’s game against the New York Red Bulls, but he will almost certainly play the following week in the Joan Gamper trophy Final against Pumas UNAM, where they will meet Barcelona legend and honorary Culer Dani Alves, who recently signed for the team after leaving the Camp Nou for the second time. Barca now have that stronger defense they have so obviously been lacking of late, not to mention added strength in depth, something that will undoubtedly be required if they are to compete on multiple fronts next year, as hoped. And, with this team that Xavi is building, who would dare bet against that now. It’s time to get carried away. everybody else may as well pack up and go home.
Benvinguts a Barcelona, Jules!