Former Chelsea centre-back Frank Leboeuf has endorsed a move for Sevilla star Jules Kounde, whose name has been heavily associated with the Champions League winners.
Kounde, 22, has emerged as one of the most sought-after centre-backs across Europe, helping Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla win the Europa League in 2020, as well as mounting a serious La Liga title challenge last term.
His exploits at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan have not gone unnoticed at international level either, with the notoriously difficult-to-please Didier Deschamps handing the young centre-back two caps to date, and including him in his Euro 2020 squad this summer.
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The Parisian has drawn links to a host of heavyweight clubs across the continent, but Chelsea have emerged as frontrunners for his signature, with reports suggesting Thomas Tuchel’s side have opened talks with Sevilla, though they are not willing to meet his £68.4m release clause.
As speculation intensifies, World Cup winner and former Chelsea star Leboeuf has now chimed in, and given his two cents on the potential of his fellow countryman relocating to the Premier League and plying his trade at a stadium where he once strut his stuff.
“He’s (Kounde) a fantastic player,” Leboeuf told ESPN. “He has everything. He is a warrior. He never gives up. He has everything. He is the future for sure.
“Maybe it’s an opportunity for Chelsea to get him maybe not this season, but next season.
“I don’t know what Kounde wants to do in his life, if he’s ready to be on the bench more than he thinks he will be. It’s up to him. It would be a good signing for Chelsea.”
“You want to put Rudiger on the bench? Impossible”
Although Leboeuf is firmly in favour of his old employers moving for Kounde, he does not believe the transfer should be at the expense of Antonio Rudiger’s involvement in the first team, with the former centre-back a massive fan of the Germany international.
He continued: “You want to put Rudiger on the bench? Impossible. The guy had a fantastic season. We never thought he would come back at that level.”
It is an opinion shared by another defensive legend, with Rio Ferdinand telling Vibe with FIVE back in March that Rudiger is a centre-back with exceptional communication skills and impervious when it comes to opposition attackers trying to get past him.
Ferdinand said: “You can see it, he’s screaming at players, he makes a block and he stands up and gets in the face of the attacker. I witnessed it and and I was like, ‘whoa he’s on it’.
“He isn’t getting beaten by no one at the moment the way that he’s on and it and he’s concentrating.”