Thomas Tuchel has explained what new signing Marc Cucurella will bring to the Blues, comparing the defender to his fellow Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta.
Cucurella completed a move from Brighton & Hove Albion following an impressive first year in the Premier League with the Seagulls and will be well known to Chelsea supporters after his assist for Danny Welbeck’s late equaliser against as at Stamford Bridge last season.
However, there are plenty more of the 24-year-old’s attributes which have Tuchel excited by the potential of the latest addition to his squad, both in terms of his footballing talent and mentality, while he also sees similarities between Cucurella and the current Blues captain.
‘I’m very excited about what he can bring,’ said the German. ‘He’s a fantastic player, a fantastic guy.
‘I don’t want to get too excited, but I have the feeling we signed the new Azpilicueta, in terms of his mentality, attitude, even in terms of his position, just with a left foot. He can play in the back three, he can play wing-back and he is a very nice, very humble guy with his personality.
‘He is a fantastic player, a very intelligent player, who is very strong on the ball, aggressive off the ball, mobile, hungry, with a good attitude. So I’m very, very happy that he joins us.’
Another positive to Cucurella’s arrival at Stamford Bridge is how he bolsters Tuchel’s options, with his versatility making him equally comfortable in the back three or at wing-back on the left.
That also helps reduce the pressure on Ben Chilwell as he continues his return from the injury which ruled him out for most of last season, meaning there is no need to rush him back into the action with several alternatives now available to our head coach.
‘Ben looks better and better, but it seems he needs a little bit more time to adapt to the rhythm and physicality. He is impatient, we will never expect him to be fully patient. He knows everything needs its time, he will get the time.
‘It helps for Ben to escape the pressure of “I have to deliver”. Marc is an option in this position and in the back three.’