Xavi Tells Jules Kounde To Improve FC Barcelona Performances Causing ‘Internal Problem’

Xavi Hernandez has reportedly sat down with defender Jules Kounde to talk about the Frenchman’s poor performances at FC Barcelona as of late.

Kounde cost a rumored €50 million ($53.6 million) from Sevilla in the summer after Barca – as seen with Raphinha – hijacked a potential Chelsea transfer by activating one of their famous economic levers.

The 24-year-old made a roaring start to life at Camp Nou, and has played an important part in a record-breaking defense that has leaked just eight goals in 25 matches and has fired Barca to a nine-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table.

In recent weeks, however, his displays have dropped in quality with an own goal that gave Manchester United the lead in a 2-2 Europa League playoff first leg draw typical of his struggles.

Kounde has often been deployed out of position at right back, but he suffered in that tie against Marcus Rashford when assuming a preferred central defensive role.

El Nacional reports that Kounde has lost confidence and is also struggling to communicate with his teammates.

The Catalan digital newspaper says that Xavi has called a face-to-face meeting with the Qatar 2022 World Cup finalist to get to the bottom of the matter, with an internal problem caused by the development at a key moment of the season when the “best version of the French defender is needed”.

Kounde is believed to be keen to talk to Xavi again to “resolve some differences”. The main one is his position, as he would prefer to play in his ideal role of center back.

With Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen forming a formidable partnership in that area of the pitch, however, it is difficult for Kounde to find a way in despite his undoubted quality.

On Sunday, though, when Barca host Real Madrid in El Clasico, Kounde might indeed play as a central defender.

In the match that could decide the title race as Barca would go 12 points clear if they win, Araujo is likely to be fielded at right back to keep Vinicius Jr under wraps as has been seen in many an edition of the world’s biggest derby in recent times.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2023/03/15/xavi-tells-jules-kounde-to-improve-fc-barcelona-performances-causing-internal-problemreports/