Jules Kounde was reportedly reluctant to sign for Chelsea due to the position Thomas Tuchel wanted him to play in.
According to journalist Toni Juanmarti, Kounde decided against swapping Sevilla for Stamford Bridge because Tuchel told him he’d be deployed at wing-back.
Chelsea had chased the France international throughout the warm weather transfer window, yet were beaten to the punch by Barcelona.
The Spanish side sealed the defender’s signature in a deal worth £47m, just one of several high-profile signings they managed to secure.
Had events transpired differently, Kounde could’ve been calling Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen his Chelsea teammates.
Instead, the trio are now Barca brothers in arms, with Christensen and Alonso also acquired by the Camp Nou chain of command.
Each have added depth to Xavi’s defence, although none have exactly featured prominently.
Jules Kounde snubs Chelsea
Christensen has only played 10 times due to injury, whilst Alonso has made just four starts in La Liga, primarily as a centre-back.
He has partnered Kounde on a handful of occasions in the middle of the back-four, a position best suited to the latter.
Xavi is yet to deploy the former Sevilla player at wing-back, a role that Tuchel clearly believed suited his skill sets.
For all Tuchel’s tactical credentials, shifting Kounde out wide doesn’t sound like his smartest plan.
The World Cup semi-finalist has spent nearly all of his career in the centre of defence, with fleeting appearances at right or left-back.
His attacking abilities are certainly not credited in the same bracket as his defensive duties, although they are improving.
Had Tuchel offered Kounde the option of playing on the left or right of a back three, however, then perhaps he’d be in a Chelsea shirt today.