Rio Ferdinand has given former Chelsea target Jules Kounde his seal of approval following a fine World Cup campaign.
Speaking on his own YouTube channel, Ferdinand credited the Barcelona defender for contributing towards France’s run to the final in Qatar.
Kounde has been one of the unsung heroes in Didier Deschamps star-studded squad.
Whilst Kylian Mbappe captured the headlines, his defensive compatriot has steadily gone about his business without much fanfare.
Barcelona’s summer signing only started one of the three group games, but went on to complete 90 minutes in each of the knockout fixtures leading up to the showpiece event against Argentina.
Jules Kounde wows at the World Cup
France conceded just three times with Kounde in the XI ahead of the finale, two of those coming from the penalty spot.
Despite spending the majority of his career at centre-back, the 24-year-old has been deployed to real effect at right-back by Deschamps.
He’s been sturdy, steely and a secure fit for the French.
“I have to say, Kounde, Kounde has been really impressive for me. He’s not one of the names you’d thought would jump out of you, but he’s been very solid,” said Ferdinand.
“Very rarely seen him be below a 7/10. Solid, consistent, done what he needed to do.
“That side of the pitch, if he looks at it in compared to the opposite side of the pitch where (Theo) Hernandez is, he’s saying: ‘I’m doing my job, no one’s getting down my area. Not may goals or chances have been created in my area.’ So, he’s proved his worth.”
Barcelona will certainly be pleased to see Kounde’s excellent showing at the World Cup, as they prepare for his eventual return before too long.
Chelsea might be less positive towards his performances, however.
Kounde reportedly had a choice between joining the Blues or Barca in the previous transfer window, with the former Sevilla man selecting the latter.
There has been suggestions that Thomas Tuchel’s desire to use the player at wing-back deterred him from moving to Stamford Bridge.
Whatever the reason, Chelsea can only rue the fact they lost out to the Spanish side, and that Kounde has been impressing on the global stage.