Cucurella began his career at Barcelona, coming through the youth ranks before earning his first professional contract in 2016. He only ever made one senior appearance for the Catalan giants, spending most of his time at the Camp Nou in the B team or out on loan. In 2020, he was sold to Getafe on a permanent basis.
One year on, he came to England, signing for Brighton and Hove Albion on a five-year contract for around £15 million. The Spaniard was an instant hit at the AMEX Stadium, winning the Seagulls’ Player of the Season in his debut campaign.
This summer, the 24-year-old has been on the radar of a number of top clubs. Manchester City were closely linked, but were reluctant to pay the asking price, while a return to Barcelona was also mentioned.
But now he has found his next destination, as Chelsea have announced his arrival at Stamford Bridge. The deal is believed to be worth an initial £55m with £7m in add-ons. Meanwhile, Levi Colwill is expected to head in the opposite direction on loan.
The Blues had a frustrating campaign last time out. They finished third in the Premier League, but failed to sustain a realistic title challenge. Meanwhile, they exited the Champions League in the quarter-finals to Real Madrid, and lost both domestic cup finals to Liverpool on penalties.
They’ve been busy this transfer window, bringing in the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly among others. The capture of Cucurella takes their summer expenses up to around £160m, making them the Premier League’s top spenders.
And they may not be done there. They had a bid rejected for Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also been linked. The latter would potentially fill a gap in Thomas Tuchel’s side, as they are currently lacking a top-class goalscorer.
Aubameyang and Tuchel worked with each other at Borussia Dortmund, where the striker enjoyed one of the most prolific spells of his career. The German refused to comment on any speculation.
Cucurella may have to compete with England international Ben Chilwell for minutes in the left-wing-back position, although he is also capable of playing as a centre-back in a back three. His arrival pushes Marcos Alonso and Emerson further down the pecking order, and it is likely that both will be sold this summer.
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