September 23, 2021

Sevilla boss Lopetegui reacts to Kounde’s failed Man City move

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The young defender had been an option for Pep Guardiola’s side and his manager is pleased that he ultimately stayed put

Julen Lopetegui believes Jules Kounde can continue to develop at Sevilla and does not think he will be hampered by missing out on a move to Manchester City.

The 22-year-old recently confirmed there was interest from the Premier League giants over the summer but a switch to the Etihad Stadium ultimately failed to materialise.

Kounde made 29 La Liga appearances for Lopetegui’s side last season as they also went on to win the Europa League, with the Sevilla coach eager to ensure the defender’s continued growth. 

“He continues with us and I think it is good for us and for the player,” Lopetegui told Goal

“He is at an age when he has to keep growing, improving and developing. He’d not been with the national team before and he was one of the players we did a little more individual work with. Now there is less time but it is logical that he goes to the Under-21 team due to the evolution he’s had.

“He has a good character to learn, he is a mature boy, very curious about what he has to improve and that is very good.”

Along with nurturing Sevilla’s younger talents, Lopetegui is also out to make the most of more experience stars like Jesus Navas, who is showing no signs of slowing down ahead of his 35th birthday.

“Jesus has had an enviable career. He has been with teams like Manchester City, he has been and continues to be in the Spanish national team, he has been a world champion,” Lopetegui said.

“Now he has converted to a new position in a brilliant way and is performing at a very high level. I think he recognised highly by the football world.

“He continues to go to the national team even at 35 years old. In this regard, I don’t think he lacks recognition in the world of football.”

Following a short stint with Real Madrid in 2018, Lopetegui has managed to achieve success at another La Liga club and doesn’t see himself leaving Sevilla anytime soon.

“We see ourselves competing on a day-to-day basis, in the next match. We are very demanding on a day-to-day basis and I don’t look any further,” he said.

“It doesn’t help you at all. You have to focus on giving the best of yourself from the moment you wake up and that is what we have to focus on. I am happy at Sevilla and thinking about having continuity in a team is very nic,e but we all know what football is like. I am happy and delighted.”