Manchester United needs help in defense and Jules Koundé is the man for the job. The center-back pairing of Maguire and Lindelöf failed to impress this season. Gary Neville’s comment of, “Lindelof’s problem is Maguire and Maguire’s problem is Lindelof” is spot on. The two struggled to work together well this season. However, there the partnership of Maguire and Bailly fared better, but Bailly’s injuries got up with him.
Now, the question remains: How can United solve this center-back issue? The answer is to sign a quick and ball-playing center-back this summer. I originally preferred Dayot Upamecano, but United need to look elsewhere since he already signed for Bayern. The best player available is Jules Koundé, who may prove to be an even better prospect than Upamecano.
The obvious fault in United’s current center-back partnership is that neither player is quick enough to cover the other. Jules can solve that issue. The Frenchman is fast enough that Sevilla occasionally uses him as a full-back. Additionally, Koundé applies his speed on both sides of counter-attacks, creating them for his side and preventing his opponents. Adding Koundé to the Machester United defense would provide crucial support for the other center-back.
Calm on the Ball
Ole mentioned that his preferred center-back is able to push the ball forward and be strong in possession. Jules’ best quality is his ability on the ball. He completed nearly 90% of his passes this season. With that, he averages a key pass (that leads to a scoring opportunity) every other game. Sevilla’s successes this season have come in a large part from Koundé’s ball-playing skill.
Last Chance Defending
Manchester United seem to find themselves defending in ‘Fergie-Time’ quite often now. To combat that, adding Koundé to the back-line makes sense. His aforementioned speed allows him to cut in and stop opposing teams’ chances before they ever reach fruition. Also, he reads the pitch extremely well for a 23-year-old, which Manchester United needs desperately. His awareness would help the defense stay cohesive even in the most chaotic of attacks. If United want a player to limit the opposing team’s chances, Koundé is just the man for the job.
Verdict: Quality Signing
Koundé United would be a great addition to the club. The defensive issues will not end by only signing Jules Koundé, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. His pace and ball-playing skill improves United at the back and provides some much-needed cover for Maguire. However if United wanted to greatly improve next season, then signing a marquee holding midfielder as well would certainly help the cause.
Glory Glory Man United
Written by CJ Szaz