Real Madrid: 3 young CBs who would pair well with Raphael Varane

Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by A. Ware/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by A. Ware/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /
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Jules Kounde
Jules Kounde (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images) /

Sevilla CB Jules Kounde

In many ways, Jules Kounde is the antithesis to Sergio Ramos. He is not the same headstrong, aggressive center back, and he does not have the same attacking prowess…yet.

While Kounde has scored just two goals in his last two seasons with Sevilla and Bordeaux, the 22-year-old has shown intelligence with his movement in the box and his ability to meet the ball with his head that indicates future developmental upside in that regard. Expecting him to be Ramos-like would be ridiculous, but he could potentially chip in as a scorer.

Kounde is one of the world’s most intelligent center backs despite being under the age of 23. It is truly remarkable how little he is caught out defensively, and he really turned heads during Sevilla’s march to the Europa League title earlier this year. At first, Diego Carlos, linked to clubs like Real Madrid and Liverpool, was the headline-maker, but fans quickly began to see Kounde is the even bigger star of the two.

A wonderfully accurate passer, Kounde has completed 89.4 percent of his attempts in La Liga so far this season after posting a 92.9 completion percentage in last year’s Europa League. Per, his completion percentage in the 2020-2021 Champions League is above 90.

There is legitimate year-to-year growth from Kounde, who has attracted attention from Real Madrid and clubs as widespread as Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola would do well to sign Kounde, whom Sevilla paid 25 million euros to Bordeaux for. So they clearly want more than double for the player, who has improved by leaps and bounds under Julen Lopetegui as his development has progressed.

Kounde and Varane share similarities in how they play and where they win as defenders, but Kounde might be less mistake-prone, even as he isn’t as athletically gifted. Among Real’s realistic transfer targets at center back, Kounde should top the list.