Marc Cucurella would plug two of Chelsea’s major holes


The Spaniard’s potential arrival at Stamford Bridge will solve two major problems plaguing Thomas Tuchel.

The first is the depth at the left rear.

The Blues played virtually all of last season without first-choice left-back Ben Chilwell, who ruptured his ACL against Juventus in the Champions League last season.

A crucial cog in Chelsea’s Champions League charge of 2020, Chilwell is essential to the team’s attacking output, able to hug the touchline and maintain extreme width which then creates space to inside for Mason Mount and Kai Havertz, but also cut inside and link-up with his midfielders.

The former Leicester man also has a knack for scoring goals, managing to find the back of the net three times in his seven league appearances last campaign. Defensively, few top flight players are better than him. He’s the perfect knot that ties Chelsea’s backline together.

In the Englishman’s place was the defensively deficient Marcos Alonso, whose peak years were under current Spurs manager Antonio Conte, where his relentless attacking raids were a key part of the last Premier League title. Blues.

Now, five years on from that glorious season – in which he netted six goals and three assists – the 31-year-old is out of favor at Bridge. Defensively, he lacks the ability and discipline to hold a wing, failing to inspire confidence in the fans in the stands and the players around him.

Although Cucurella is far too talented to be unnecessarily deployed as a substitute, his arrival from Brighton would ensure that should his first-choice injury occur, Thomas Tuchel has a player who is as adept defensively as he is offensively, and a player whose abilities and playstyle closely mirror those of Chilwell.

A frantic and energetic attacker, Cucurella is also brilliant at maintaining width. His heat map from last season hints at his chalk-on-your-boots approach to the game, with that touchline-hugging propensity dating back to his days operating on the left of midfield for Getafe.

The second problem he solves is the one that was brought in this summer, the left side of the defence. Operating in three, the arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly can complete the departure of Antonio Rudiger, who left for Real Madrid, champion of Spain and Europe.

However, the departure of Andreas Christensen to Rudiger’s now-rival Barcelona means Chelsea are looking for depth in midfield. The club’s pursuit of Frenchman Jules Kounde stumbled at the final hurdle after Barcelona intervened and somehow robbed the former Sevilla player at Todd Boehly’s advances.

The Blues have now turned their attention to highly touted young defenders Wesley Fofana of Leicester City and RB Leipzig’s electric Croatian Josko Gvardiol.

However, with both future stars on long contracts, until 2024 and 2026 respectively, as well as Chelsea’s widely publicized defensive desperation, the two defenders’ clubs are in a position to demand exorbitant fees – up to 80 million of pounds – for their products.

In Marc Cucurella, Chelsea have an unconventional option for the left side of their defence, at a reduced price of £50million. Cucurella’s natural preference for his left leg would allow Koulibaly to switch to his right, although the Senegalese centre-half excelled on the left side for Napoli last year.

(Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Cucurella showed his ability to play on the left side of a back three for Brighton last year, doing so 10 times this campaign, including against his potential new employers where he put in a brilliant performance, securing the assist from Danny Welbeck in the 91st minute. equalizer, while harassing Chelsea front three Romelu Lukaku, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mount as he won three tackles, more than half of his duels and made two clearances while throwing in 115 touches, by far the most all starters.

Moreover, his attacking ability and comfort on the ball fit perfectly into the style of possession that Tuchel likes his defenders to play with, which could see the Brighton man operating in a similar way to Cesar Azpilicueta, pushing to the right, linking up with Reece James, allowing the wing-back to move inside or pushing further down the touchline, providing added attacking dimension with overlaps and creating an extra man in their offensive patterns.

Questions can be asked about his size and aerial prowess, especially given the arrival of new No.9s Darwin Nunez, Erling Haaland and Gianluca Scamacca at Liverpool, Manchester City and West Ham this summer, as well as the presence of Harry Kane and Michail Antonio among others, all of whom possess incredible aerial prowess.

Those concerns are valid, but the air force of Koulibaly, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy, should be enough to cover.

What Cucurella would offer is a speed comparable to that of Rudiger, formerly one of the fastest defenders in the Premier League, which would be very useful both to stand out against tricky wingers, such as Mohammed Salah , and to stop any counter-attacks that the team falls victim to.

Of all Chelsea’s defensive summer targets, Marc Cucurella appears to be the one capable of solving the most problems for Thomas Tuchel’s side.




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