Premier League

Have Brighton Found Their New Left Back?

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Brighton are the latest side being linked with Marc Cucurella, the attacking left back/wing back currently at Getafe in La Liga. The Spanish International has played at U21 level and recently made his first team debut in a friendly with Lithuania for Luis Enrique’s side. Reports suggest that Brighton face competition for the 22-year-old with Jose Mourinho’s Roma named as another club tracking the full back.

Cucurella has shown his abilities in a defensively resolute Getafe side, and his attacking potential is what has also given him opportunities within the Spanish national side.

If a move to Brighton comes to fruition, Cucurella would be well placed to continue his development with consistent game time in a side who look to play in a similar style to the Spanish national side. An emphasis on ball retention as well as pressing their opponents high up the pitch, Potters side have an exciting playing philosophy as well a real need for a first choice left back/wing back.

Cucurella, of Getafe CF and Pepe of Granada CF during the La Liga match between Granada CF and Getafe CF at Nuevo Los Carmenes Stadium on May 23, 2021 in Granada, Spain. Football stadiums in Spain remain closed to fans due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. (Photo by Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The former Barcelona youth player has great pace, and is able to utilise this going forward as well as pressuring opponents and recovering out of possession. Potter will hope to have Tariq Lamptey back for next season, and pairing him with Cucarella as wing backs on either side would give Brighton a dangerous attacking threat with pace on both flanks.

Dan Burn has been deployed on the left side of defence, mostly due to a lack of first choice options and is much more suited to playing at the centre of defence. Polish defender Michal Karbownik is the only natural left back in the first team at Brighton, though only managed one FA Cup appearance last season. He may continue in the U23’s or as cover to a player like Cucurella, who already has three full seasons on La Liga football under his belt.

Robert Sanchez has earned his call up to the Spain side from his performances in goal for Brighton, and Cucurella could see this opportunity as one which could help him continue his development in a progressive side.

Graham Potter is looking to build on a season with successes and frustrations, where they finished in 16th place. Offensively they had their difficulties in converting chances, though chances were being created, and their xG data has been well discussed. Defensively, Potters side conceded the least amount of goals in the bottom half of the Premier League, just 46 in 38 games.

HUESCA, SPAIN – APRIL 25: Marc Cucurella of Getafe CF looks on during the La Liga Santander match between SD Huesca and Getafe CF at Estadio El Alcoraz on April 25, 2021 in Huesca, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Brighton have started the transfer window of bringing in midfielder Enock Mwepu for Red Bull Salzburg for a fee of around £20 million. A striker looks likely to be added as well given last season strikers troubles in front of goal. Potter will be pleased with most of his squad, especially if the addition of Cucurella is confirmed.

One player who looks set to depart is Yves Bissouma. Mwepu would not be a like for like replacement, being a more advanced midfielder, but Brighton have already invested in Moises Caicedo. The Ecuadorian International will be looking to fight for his place in the side next season after the 19-year-old spent the latter half of last season acclimatising to life in England and Brighton’s style of play.

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