Report: If Kounde joins Chelsea, Tuchel could start 22-year-old in different position when next season starts
Chelsea could reportedly look to use Reece James at centre-back next season if they sign transfer target Jules Kounde.
According to The Telegraph, Blues manager Thomas Tuchel could move James to a different position when the new campaign starts depending on new arrivals.
The 22-year-old Chelsea star is most recognised as a brilliant right wing-back, but he could be asked to drop into a centre-half position in a back three. In fairness, it’s something he’s shown in the past he can do.
It is understood the England international could alter his preferred role to allow Sevilla’s Jules Kounde to play wing-back.
Kounde, 23, is a versatile French defender that’s been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge all summer. He’s traditionally a centre-back by trade, but the Telegraph’s report suggests he could adapt easier to English football as a full-back.
It’s been reported Sevilla have given Chelsea a deadline of 5 July to complete a deal for Kounde, though.
Reece James at centre-back
It would be an extremely risky strategy to convert James into a centre-back next season.
Of course, the Blues academy graduate has shown he’s got the quality and tactical awareness to fill into a back three.
However, the Chelsea side miss him so much when he’s not flying up and down the side of the pitch from wing-back.
James finished last season with six goals and 10 assists in 39 games across all competitions for Chelsea, so you’re ripping out such a key part of the attack if you drop him further back the pitch.
Kounde’s preferred position is at centre-back, so it sounds like Tuchel’s men may be overthinking things a little.