Jules Kounde Sends Clear Message to Xavi Hernandez Over Position
Barcelona are facing Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday night in the Champions League and alongside Xavi Hernandez, it was Jules Kounde who was on duty in the press conference.
It was Kounde’s first press appearance since being presented as a Barcelona player and there was once topic that dominated the early questions, that being his position.
Kounde is known as central defender but so far Xavi Hernandez, has used him as a right-back in the two matches he has been available for.
“I feel good, there are definitely things I have to improve. The position does not make me uncomfortable, but everyone knows my position is at centre-back and I prefer centre-back. But if the manager needs me there then I don’t have a problem.”
Barcelona did sign right-back Hector Bellerin on transfer deadline day and it was then put to Kounde whether he thought that would allow him to play as a central defender more often.
“I would say that is factual, because he plays at right-back and he is a solution for the manager and then it is the manager who decides.”
Further on in the press conference, Kouunde was asked whether there were different things being asked of him by Xavi compared to what Julen Lopetegui has asked of him.
“He asks me for some different things to what I did at Sevilla but in my essence I bring the same things. Every time I can divide in order to bring superiority to the team and play aggressively in defence and lead the team. It is very important to be vocal, especially in my position so that all of my colleagues are on the same wavelength.”
This is perhaps the beginning of a tricky issue for Xavi to manage. With five central defenders on their books, it will be a tough job to keep them all content with their role in the side. Using Kounde as a right-back was an easy way of avoiding those decisions but it now looks as if the French defender will force it upon him too.