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WOW, READ: How Barcelona’s defence could look like after signing Jules Kounde

After another intense transfer battle with Chelsea, Barcelona are reportedly poised to land Jules Kounde from Sevilla in the ongoing transfer window.

The 23-year-old has been at the top of Xavi’s wishlist to reinforce his backline this summer. But Chelsea had been pushing with great intent and were believed to have reached an agreement with Sevilla, only for the Blaugrana to claw their way back into the race, like they did with Raphinha.

Reports indicate that Kounde’s arrival at Camp Nou could be imminent, with Barça having reached an agreement with Sevilla over a €60 million deal, while also agreeing terms with the French international over a four-year contract.

If signed, Kounde will be another excellent signing for the Blaugrana and will strengthen the defensive roster at Xavi’s disposal heading into the new season.

Barça Universal now takes a look as to how the Blaugrana backline could shape up with Kounde’s arrival seemingly imminent.

The frontline option: Dest – Araujo – Kounde – Alba

If Barcelona sign Kounde, it is a given that he will walk right into the starting XI, considering how hard Xavi pushed for his signing and the potential outlay on his transfer.

And, considering the brilliant form that Ronald Araujo has been displaying over the past year, he is also a shoo-in in the lineup. The Uruguayan pairing up with the Frenchman will make for a formidable defensive partnership and one that opponents will struggle to get past.

There is no looking past Jordi Alba in the left-back spot. And even though Barça would ideally want a new right-back, they could be forced to stick with Sergino Dest amid concerns about the Cesar Azpilicueta deal falling through.

Three at the back: Araujo – Pique – Kounde

Xavi has previously shown that he is open to utilising a three-man defensive unit based on the situation and the opponent. And considering the riches in the centre-back department that he will have, a three-person backline could be a realistic option for Barça next season.

Such a setup could see Ronald Araujo slot in as the right-sided centre-back, who has the defensive nous, the ability on the ball and the recovery pace to excel in such a role.

Senior defender Gerard Pique could slot in at the heart of the backline and marshall things. Kounde would have to occupy the left-sided centre-back in such a system. The 23-year-old has the experience of playing in the position with the French national team.

The left-field choice: Araujo – Kounde – Christensen – Alba

Ronald Araujo could emerge as an option at right-back (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Another interesting option that Xavi and Barcelona could consider is deploying Ronald Araujo in the right-back position. The 23-year-old is the best centre-back at the Catalans’ disposal currently without a doubt.

However, the Uruguayan international showcased on a few occasions last season that he is up to the task of playing on the right side of the back four and did a fine job in the position in the pre-season friendly against Real Madrid, shackling Vinicius Junior with ease.

While it might not become a regular occurrence, but Xavi could turn to Araujo to fill in at right-back when needed, which would allow him to field Kounde with summer signing Andreas Christensen at the heart of the defence, while Alba continues at left-back.







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