A lot was made in the summer about reports that Jules Kounde was unhappy with his role at Barcelona after playing virtually all of his debut season at right-back, instead of his favorite position of center-back. Some even claimed the Frenchman was ready to leave Barça, but Kounde himself was quick to shut down those rumors.
But there were other reports that Kounde had spoken to Xavi Hernández about his desire to play center-back, and the player has almost exclusively played through the middle to start this season. Kounde’s insistence paid off and he was one of the top center-backs in Europe before suffering a knee injury, and Jules is now looking to regain his rhythm after returning against Real Sociedad at the weekend.
Kounde confirmed that he indeed spoke with Xavi before the season in his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk in Hamburg, Germany, and while he made sure to clarify he is willing to play right-back if and when needed, Jules did not even try to deny that center-back is indeed where he wants to be full-time.
“I’m happy because I play in my position. I played at right back last season and I’m always available. I had a conversation with Xavi at the end of the season because I wanted to play where I can contribute the most but I’m never going to refuse to play at right back. I am at the coach’s disposal.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo
Kounde has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt he was right to want to play in the middle, and Barça have in turn improved the talent at right-back with João Cancelo who is off to a tremendous start to his loan season. Everybody wins!