Just in: Barcelona star set to be ruled out for several weeks after picking up injury
Barcelona defender Jules Kounde could miss several weeks of football after picking up an injury in France’s Nations League win on Thursday (September 22), Catalan outlet ARA has claimed.
Kounde was included in Didier Deschamps’ playing XI when France squared off against League 1 Group A rivals Austria on matchday five of their UEFA Nations League campaign. Les Bleus came away with a 2-0 victory, but Kounde left the field in agony after only 23 minutes of play, with Arsenal’s William Saliba replacing him.
According to the aforementioned source, preliminary scans have shown a hamstring injury. Although further tests are yet to be carried out, it is believed that the untimely injury could rule Kounde out for several weeks. This means that Barcelona could be without Kounde for October 16’s blockbuster El Clasico against La Liga leaders and arch-nemesis Real Madrid.
Barca boss Xavi has used Kounde primarily as a right-back this season and has had a lot of success. His absence could see new addition Hector Bellerin fill in for him at right-back, but the former Gunner reportedly does not instill as much confidence as Kounde. Ronald Araujo could also be in contention to fill in for Kounde at right-back.
Kounde, who joined from Sevilla for a €50 million fee in July 2022, has featured in five games for Barca across competitions this season, claiming three assists.
Barcelona forward Memphis Depay also suffers setback in Nations League duty
Kounde was not the only Barcelona star to suffer a knock while representing their country in the UEFA Nations League. Netherlands star Memphis Depay also limped off the pitch in his side’s victory over Poland on Thursday.
Depay started for the Dutch as they squared off against League A Group 4 opponents Poland on matchday five of the 2022-24 Nations League campaign. The Barca forward, who struggled to find his footing in the game, felt a thigh injury five minutes into the second half and had to be replaced (via Marca).
After the game, coach Louis van Gaal confirmed that his issue was indeed concerning, communicating that Depay wouldn’t play a part in Sunday’s (September 25) clash against Belgium. He said (via heavy):
“It’s a pity that Memphis had to go off with this injury, it doesn’t look good and I don’t see him playing vs Belgium on Sunday.”