A transfer target Real Madrid shouldn’t give up on next year

Real Madrid, Florentino Perez. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Florentino Perez. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid ended the year on a high with a 1-2 win over Athletic Club at San Mames of all places. Despite going through a mini COVID outbreak within the squad, Real Madrid’s Italian Manager Carlo Ancelotti fielded out an impressive XI with players like Eden Hazard and Eduardo Camavinga getting rare starts. This speaks a lot about Real Madrid’s squad depth, an aspect that has been constantly underrated by people this season.

Interestingly, Real Madrid’s mainstay partnership in central defense of Eder Militao and David Alaba was also broken for this game. David Alaba along with Isco Alarcon were the latest COVID cases confirmed by the club. The best Austrian player of the year was replaced by Nacho Fernandez who pulled off a reliable shift and saw things through defensively for Los Blancos.

This brings me to an issue that got heightened in my mind after yesterday’s game. (Especially when we are approaching the January transfer window) Real Madrid cannot afford not signing a defender in this transfer window. The need is for a center-back or a right-back. The situation at the right is even more troubled to put it simply. Both positions are now dependent on Nacho as the only backup and that is not ideal. Moreover, Ancelotti simply cannot risk playing Jesus Vallejo in big league games.

Real Madrid, therefore, should play smart and utilize their transfer budget towards a few depth signings in the upcoming window. And, a defender should be a must-sign for Los Blancos. My pick for the same is Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

Jules Kounde gets the nod over other available options

There are several options for Real Madrid. But, Jules Kounde, in my opinion, is the perfect option. And, Real Madrid shouldn’t give up on the race for his signature. Kounde isn’t a new entrant to Real’s transfer radar. He was being monitored even from before the European Championships started. And, seemingly now, Chelsea is making headway in the race for the Frenchman’s signature.

Sevilla is also believed to have quoted a fresh price for their gem. They are now open to negotiating in the ballpark of 50-60 million euros for Kounde. That is not a small amount, but surely that isn’t a bad price to pay for someone of Kounde’s quality. He has been quietly making his mark on the season. He has an assist to his name in the league and has been exceptional with his long balls. Especially in the Champions League, the Frenchman is playing some of his best football with an average match rating of 7.11 per WhoScored.

Kounde obviously has one key advantage over other central defensive options in the market and that is his ability to play on the right fullback position. Real Madrid would be better off signing another versatile player after David Alaba who can handle two separate roles in the defense. And judging by how some of the latest French signings have worked out for Real Madrid, Kounde is a must-buy for the upcoming window.

However, let’s not speak in comparison and see actually what a great option Kounde can be for Real Madrid. First things first, he solves two problems right away. He can pull off shifts in both the central defense and wider areas. That means the disastrous shifts from Lucas Vazquez can come to an end. No offense to the loyal club servant but Vazquez has been nightmarish in the last two games. Maybe he was a little better yesterday than what we saw against Cadiz.

Secondly, Kounde’s addition to the squad means that Real Madrid could be open to lining up more unique starting combinations at the back. They could also move to a three-man defense like they did last season under Zinedine Zidane at times as a makeshift solution for the long absence of Dani Carvajal. The three-CB system did work out well for Real Madrid at times with it being a solid platform for Real Madrid to venture forward and attack. The point at the end is that Kounde’s addition will bring an array of options for Carlo Ancelotti.

Lastly, not to forget, Kounde is a tried and tested option in LaLiga, he has succeeded in the same league and Real Madrid will have one less thing to worry about in terms of his fit in the squad. He would have compatriots in the likes of Ferland Mendy, Camavinga, and Karim Benzema. And, the appeal of a club like Real Madrid knocking at your door? Well, there are a few things in football you cannot put a price tag on!

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That said, there is no reason for Real Madrid to withdraw from the race to win Jules Kounde’s signature in January. It could be a tight race with many parties involved but he’d bring in a lot of things into the squad for a price tag in the ballpark of 50-60 million euros. And, he’d definitely be a quick-fit and a quick solution to some of Real Madrid’s problems. He is thus a logical target to chase.