Chelsea
Chelsea

Chelsea star Marc Cucurella might have sent some tremors down the club, after he recently admit that he would like to return to his boyhood club FC Barcelona. Cucurella has just switched sides from Brighton to Chelsea this summer, but is already thinking of his future. Chelsea splashed a whopping €65 million to acquire the services of the highly-rated left-back in order to provide backup to Ben Chilwell who has been troubled with recurring injuries.

Cucurella had joined the famous La Masia academy of Barcelona in 2012, at an age of 14, plying his trade with the Under-16s. He quickly rose to prominence with his electrifying pace and solid displays, as Barca sent him on multiple loan trips across Eibar and Getafe to gain more first team minutes. At a time when Jordi Alba was dominating the left-back’s position at the club, Cucurella never really got the chance to impress for the Catalan club, leaving the club on a permanent deal in 2020 to sign with Getafe, where he had spent a season-long loan.

Chelsea
Cucurella made a dream €65 million move to Chelsea this summer. Credits: Twitter

The Chelsea player admits his wish of returning to Barcelona

Cucurella only managed a single senior appearance for Barcelona throughout his career, which came against Real Murcia in the Copa del Rey in 2017, that too a mere 7 minutes in a 3-0 win. Despite his 67 appearances for Barcelona B, Cucurella was constantly overlooked by the club’s then first-team coaches in Luis Enrique, then Ernesto Valverde. He finally left for regular game time with a first-team, signing with Getafe in 2020 for a fee of €12 million.

He amassed a total of 86 appearances there, netting 4 goals and providing 8 assists. His exploits caught the eye of Brighton, who paid €18 to bring him in last summer. Brighton move was a gamechanger for Cucurella, as he quickly adapted to the more physically demanding Premier League, featuring in 38 games in all competitions for the Seagulls. Current Chelsea manager Graham Potter, who coached Cucurella at Brighton as well is hugely credited for bringing the best out of the 24-year-old. Meanwhile, Cucurella still has the Catalans in his heart, and expressed his wish of returning there. He told Cat Radio:

“It has not been easy to get here, we have had to overcome many stones. The most important thing is that I have never given up, I have always continued to work and this year I obtained the award I was looking for so much. I didn’t have the opportunity [to play for Barcelona] and I’ve always had [it] as a thorn in my side. In the end if I had the opportunity  [to return to Barca] in the future I would appreciate it, but it would be very nice.”

Chelsea
The Chelsea left-back was handed only a single opportunity at his boyhood club FC Barcelona. Credits: Twitter

However, a return to Barca seems a long road as of now for Cucurella, who is yet to kickstart his Chelsea career with a full throttle. He has a heavy price tag to justify, and is yet to display the form on basis of which the Blues splashed huge funds on him. In his 18 outings so far for Chelsea, Cucurella only has 2 assists to show. But that comes down to the inconsistency he has had to face with his playing position.

Former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, under whose regime the left-back was signed often deployed him in the back-three of his defensive set-up. At Brighton though, Cucurella played further up the pitch, even in a left-winger’s role. That reaped rewards as well, which are evident from his attacking contributions in the Seagulls’ stunning wins over Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League last season.

A managerial change where Graham Potter followed Cucurella to Chelsea was expected to finally light-up his spell at Stamford Bridge. However, Potter too seemed to go with Chilwell over his former associate more often, further resulting in disappointment for the left-back. But the England international suffering a hamstring injury just before the World Cup break which is expected to keep him out for a long time, Cucurella might be sensing regular opportunities here.