Chelsea are set to step up their interest in long-term target Jules Kounde – who, earlier this year, gave an interview that could match Thomas Tuchel’s ideal profile for a player.
“We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of these players,” Thomas Tuchel said when speaking about Chelsea’s plans for the 2022 summer transfer window back in May. “It is not like you put a name on the list, and then you get a player.
“You have to convince the player, you have to speak to other clubs and convince yourself this is the player, so there is normally a lot of work. It will be the same to be competitive next season, while, like everybody else, tries to close the gap to us, while the top two teams are what they are. A benchmark of consistency.”
While Tuchel didn’t specify the sort of “characteristics” he was after in new signings, it wouldn’t be stupid to assume that a player with confidence in his own ability matches the aforementioned profile. There’s a fine line in football between straight-up arrogance and having confidence in your own ability.
Footballers, nowadays especially, have to be very head-strong. They are constantly in the spotlight, and the rise of social media in the 21st century has added to that. Any below-par performance can be ridiculed. The long-term picture tends to go amiss sometimes among football supporters.
So, when Jules Kounde of Sevilla and France was sent off in his country’s clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina last year, the defender came under fire. The 23-year-old, though, who is a big target for Chelsea this summer, never doubted his own abilities.
“It makes people wonder, of course, but there is no doubt about my ability to impose myself in this group,” Kounde said in an interview with AFP via Look Charms. “I have confidence in my qualities, the work that I put in every day to be there.
“The coach trusted me a lot, selecting me for the Euro already and putting me in a position that was not mine. I tried to do my best. I always said that I preferred to be on the ground rather than on the bench.
“Now I am at my past, so obviously more is expected of me. But that’s not a problem for me, I’m judged on what I can do. When things go well, so much the better, but when things go wrong, criticism is completely normal.”
Chelsea first tried to sign Kounde in the summer of 2021 and came very close to wrapping a deal up. However, Sevilla, at the last minute, upped their asking price and their actions put the Blues off.
There was always a feeling that Chelsea would come back in for Kounde, especially with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving. So they did, and the west Londoners verbally agreed personal terms with the France international earlier in the summer.
Now, football.london understands that Chelsea are expected to submit an official offer to Sevilla for Kounde as early as this week. The Blues are also trying to sign his France team-mate, Presnel Kimpembe, and are preparing a bid for his services.