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Jules Koundé to Barcelona: Everything You Need to Know

Meet the 23-year-old France international defender who heads from Sevilla to the Camp Nou to add a jolt to Xavi’s Barcelona defense.

Despite FC Barcelona’s well-documented debt crisis, Jules Koundé is the latest addition to Xavi’s new squad. The former Sevilla defender joins the club for a fee of just over $50 million on a reported five-year contract. The club also attached a hefty billion-euro release clause (!) in his deal, effectively guaranteeing access to his services for the duration of the agreement.

Koundé becomes the fifth player to pass the doors of Camp Nou this summer, despite currently rostered players perhaps wondering if the club is financially solvent to pay them on time; to keep things afloat, the club continues to sell pieces of its TV rights and recently offloaded 25% of its media arm, Barça Studios, to Socios for $102 million.

Throughout the last three transfer windows, Koundé was heavily rumored to be joining any number of Premier League clubs, with all signs this time around pointing directly at Thomas Tuchel’s reconstruction project at Chelsea. Koundé himself even admitted that the deal to join the Blues was virtually completed until Barça hijacked the inevitable exchange.

(The last-minute takeover was too familiar for Chelsea, who likewise lost out to Barcelona in competitive races to sign Raphinha from Leeds United and Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.)

With Jules, The Blaugrana alleviate the pressure that came with the imperative to finalize their center back options for the upcoming season, which begins Aug. 13 against Rayo Vallecano. Now, before donning the famous blue and garnet shirt, let’s discuss everything you need to know about the French international footballer’s transfer, including his contract and wage details.

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Jules Koundé Contract & Transfer Details

Wage figures as noted by Barca Universal.

Contract length: 5 years
Estimated weekly wages: $186,750 (€182,792) for 2023-23 // $245,700 (€240,384) for remaining years
Estimated annual wages: $9,711,500 (€9,500,000) for 2022-23 // $12,778,000 (12,500,000) for remaining years
Free agency: 2027

Base transfer fee: $51,113,000 (€50,000,000)
Max transfer fee: $63,891,500 (€62,500,000)

Estimated market value: $66,000,000 (via Transfermarkt)

Jules Koundé Stats Per 90 Minutes

CategoryStats Per 90Percentile
Passes Completed63.2589
Key Passes0.4092
Progressive Passes3.6784
Shot-Creating Actions1.1697
Carries into Final Third1.2693
Ball Recoveries11.1087
Stats provided by Football Reference. Tracks performance compared to center backs in Europe’s five biggest domestic leagues and European competition over the past year.

How Koundé Fits at Barcelona

Barcelona is currently front-loaded with attacking options. Now, Xavi can rest a bit easier about the rear of his formation. Notably, even in defense, the manager wants players who can progress the ball forward and drop crosses into the box, and Koundé is a fine fit given his dual ability to carry the ball from the back line to kick-start the attack.

“I think my knowledge of La Liga will make things easier, but the most important thing is to adapt to the Barça style and what the coach wants,” the player said upon his introduction at the club.

He wins the ball back for his team at a high rate, but additionally has the pace, dribbling ability, and elite passing skills to deliver the ball ahead to Lewandoski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Signing a player is one thing, but if Barcelona can reach sufficient financial compliance to register all their new transfers and keep moving things in the right direction with regards to their debt load, their acquisitions in this window could constitute the beginning of a new football era for the Catalan club — and at just 23 years of age, Koundé could emerge as one of its true breakout stars.

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