Tottenham Hotspur have entered the race to sign Jules Kounde, and he could be their best summer signing yet.
The France international has a release clause of £76m, so he will certainly not come cheap but it appears as if Spurs’ attentions have turned to Kounde after missing out on Inter Milan star Alessandro Bastoni.
And the door has seemingly opened for the Lilywhites to make their move as Chelsea close in on the signing of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli instead. It is also thought that the player would prefer a move to the Premier League, with Newcastle United also keen.
Tottenham have already signed as many as five new players this summer and are potentially near a sixth arrival in the form of Djed Spence from Middlesbrough.
Fraser Forster and Ivan Perisic arrived on free transfers, whilst Clement Lenglet is through the door on a loan deal from Barcelona.
The possible signing of Kounde could eclipse all of these as the 23-year-old could be a key cog in manager Antonio Conte’s backline for years to come – just imagine the partnership he and Cristian Romero could form.
Kounde ended the 2021/22 campaign as the second highest-rated player in Seville, per WhoScored figures. Despite standing at just 5 foot 10, he won more aerial duels than anyone else (2.4 per game) and also averaged 1.3 tackles each outing too.
Interestingly, the Frenchman’s profile is most comparable to Spurs’ Ben Davies, who was deployed as a centre-back in Conte’s back three last season. He also matches up alongside Antonio Rudiger and Joel Matip, as well as fellow Lilywhites transfer target Pau Torres.
Also per FBref, the young defender has proven to be excellent on the ball, ranking inside the top 2% of his positional peers across Europe for dribbles completed (0.73 per 90), as well as the top 10% for progressive carries (4.63 per 90).
Spurs’ sizeable investment in Richarlison is a big risk, given he will be competing with Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski, whilst on the other hand, Kounde could walk straight into the starting XI alongside Romero and Eric Dier, with Lenglet and Davies playing backup.
As such, sporting director Fabio Paratici could deliver something of a major coup this summer should he follow up on his interest in the Sevilla gem.
AND in other news, Spurs’ next “priority” revealed after Spence swoop…