Chelsea have to check out these three Kounde alternatives

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 15 Nov 2021 18:28 CET 3 min read
Man Utd and Chelsea both want Jules Kounde of Sevilla

Chelsea spent the closing hours of the January transfer window unsuccessfully chasing Jules Kounde of Sevilla.

The move broke down over the Stamford Bridge’s side unwillingness to match Kounde’s €80 million release clause, which the Spanish club demanded if they were to cede the France international.

With Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen all out of contract with Chelsea next summer, there is speculation that they are looking at central defensive options again before January.

Would Kounde still be interested in a move? He suggested so when he told Telefoot: “Did my failed transfer to Chelsea this summer affect me? Yes, a little bit, but now it's digested.”

But with Sevilla’s demands on Kounde are unlikely to change - the 23-year-old is under contract until 2024 - which players of a similar profile might Chelsea chase?

Using SciSports’ data, it is possible to search for players who perform similar functions to Kounde and are of a similar standard.

Interestingly, Christensen is one of the alternatives that is thrown up as a player of comparable standard and style to the Frenchman.

Meanwhile, others such as Manchester City’s Ruben Dias are out of reach due to playing at a title rival, while Dayot Upamecano has effectively only just started his Bayern Munich career.

So what are Chelsea’s alternatives when it comes to looking for a Kounde replacement?

Milan Skriniar

Liverpool linked to Inter stopper Milan Skriniar

Inter defender Milan Skriniar has long been one of Europe’s top centre-backs and was a key player as the Nerazzurri claimed the Serie A title last season.

With Inter’s financial situation complicated, a deal could be struck for a player whose contract is up in 2023 and whose value will, consequently, plummet in the months ahead.

At 26, he is just approaching his peak years.

Lisandro Martinez

Argentina international defender Lisandro Martinez of Ajax is 23, the same age as Kounde, and has seen his stock rise dramatically in recent months.

Indeed, according to SciSports’ date, he has been the top performing centre-back in the Eredivisie, while he is a member of a side that has won all four of its Champions League matches to date.

Like Kounde, he is a versatile defender, but counting against him is the fact that he is left-sided. There are also questions of whether he can sustain this dramatic improvement in his performances.

Gabriel

Sol Campbell once left Tottenham to sign for Arsenal, but could Gabriel go from being a Gunner to Chelsea? It’s highly doubtful, particularly because the 23-year-old Brazilian is proving to be so integral to his side’s recent resurgence.

Nevertheless, he possesses many of the same characteristics as Kounde and is only being out-performed in the Premier League by Christensen and Thiago Silva this season.

Gabriel, though, is likely to be every bit as tough as Kounde for Chelsea to sign.