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Marc Cucurella to Chelsea: Everything You Need to Know

Meet the 24-year-old Spanish fullback fresh off his debut for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues after an expensive move from Brighton and Hove Albion.

Just before the Premier League kicked off its 30th season over the weekend, Brighton left back Marc Cucurella officially signed with Chelsea in a last-ditch effort to improve their defense for a transfer fee that can reach as high as $76.31 million (£63 million) including add-ons.

Chelsea’s 19-year-old center back prospect, Levi Colwill, additionally heads to Brighton on a season-long loan.

Early in the transfer window, Cucurella was heavily touted by league champions Manchester City. With their seemingly boundless surplus of funds combined with the 24-four-year-old Spanish international’s desire to only play at the Etihad Stadium, the question increasingly veered towards not if Cucurella would sign with City, but when.

Nevertheless, Brighton evaluated Cucurella at a price tag much higher than $60.81 million, which was the maximum total that the Sky Blues were reportedly willing to pay. After handing in a transfer request to leave Brighton by any means, Cucurella ultimately decided that any new shade of blue would suffice to join Thomas Tuche’l’s Chelsea.

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Marc Cucurella Transfer & Contract Details

Contract length: 6 years
Estimated weekly wages: Not reported
Estimated annual wages: Not reported
Free agency: 2028

Base transfer fee: $67,834,000 (£56,000,000)
Maximum transfer fee: $76,314,000 (£63,000,000)

Estimated market value: $30,800,000(via Transfermarkt)

Cucurella Stats Per 90 Minutes

CategoryStat Per 90Percentile
Passes Under Pressure9.5199
Shot-Creating Actions2.3780
Dribblers Tackled1.3991
Successful Pressure %37.8%99
Shots Saved0.0696
Ball Recoveries10.1897
Stats provided by Football Reference. Tracks performance compared to center backs in Europe’s five biggest domestic leagues and European competition over the past year.

How Cucurella Fits in at Chelsea

Not ultimately ending up at Manchester City, who opened their latest title defense with a 2-0 away victory at West Ham, is only a bad thing Cucurella’s sole ambitions were winning the league (whether or not he was to play a starring role in doing so). A trusted back four of Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake, Ruben Diaz, and Kyle Walker doesn’t leave much room for a new arrival to snag high-leverage minutes. Pep Guardiola additionally has John Stones off the bench to provide quality and familiarity across multiple competitions.

Chelsea, meanwhile, already lost their best defender, Antonio Rudiger, to Real Madrid on a free transfer and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona. The Blues acquired Napoli center back Kalidou Koulibaly to fill a significant back hole at center back, but they’ll need the depth that City, Liverpool, and Tottenham have in order to compete for a Premier League title.

Cucurella isn’t likely to challenge Koulibaly for the role of the starting left-sided center back in Tuchel’s back three, but he possesses the quality to play left wingback — a position he manned impressively the final 15 minutes Saturday after coming off the bench for Ben Chilwell.

He’s lightning fast, a ball winner, and a relentless daredevil of a tackler. More importantly, he gives Chelsea versatility in two glaringly weak positions with quality that doesn’t massively drop in place of their starters. Cucurella will have stiff competition to challenge for a routine starting role no matter where he ends up on the pitch, but the early returns were positive from the weekend’s victory over Everton, and a sign of many more positive returns to come.

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Rory Robinson