It would probably be a bit of an overstatement to say that Nouhou is an “odd man out” in the Seattle Sounders current depth chart. He is, after all, continuing to get minutes even if it’s off the bench. At the same time, he’s a 22-year-old left back with senior national team experience whose best chance of breaking into the starting lineup relies on the guy ahead of him no longer being available.
It’s not hard to see that Nouhou might be itching for an increased role, even if it’s somewhere else.
Somewhere else may be in Europe, according to The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio.
These are slightly different from the rumors this past offseason, though, as it looks like a loan may be more likely than an outright sale. This probably makes a bit more sense, too.
Chances are, European teams aren’t going to pay the millions of dollars a full transfer might cost for someone who has yet to nail down a starting role. The Sounders aren’t seemingly inclined to let Nouhou walk without getting some value, especially since he provides a defensive option they can’t easily replace. But a loan, even if all it does is open up an international roster spot? That could work.
Assuming the Sounders can work out a loan extension of their own for Brad Smith — who’s currently scheduled to rejoin Bournemouth after July 31 — they seem reasonably well covered at left back with Joevin Jones also on the roster. They also probably need that international roster spot if they’re to add the Designated Player they’ve stated they hope to sign.
Sending Nouhou somewhere he might be in line for more minutes, and hopefully increase his value, while making room for another DP has the potential to be a win-win situation.