Marc Cucurella has signed a six-year deal from Brighton & Hove Albion at Chelsea.
The versatile defender comes just weeks after his 24th birthday after an impressive debut season in the Premier League with the Seagulls, playing 38 games in all competitions and scoring his only goal in the penultimate home game against Manchester United.
His adaptation to English football has been so positive and quick and he has played in a variety of roles at left flank including full-back, full-back and centre-back. Cucurella was voted player of the season by both Brighton supporters and teammates.
In particular, his energetic performances, hard tackling and marauding down the wing caught the eye, while his two-footedness and security on the ball were key attributes of Brighton’s possession-based approach as they secured an all-time top-flight result in ninth. Only three players recorded more than his 93 tackles in the Premier League last season.
On signing for Chelsea, Cucurella said: “I’m really happy. It’s a great opportunity for me to join one of the best clubs in the world and I will work hard to be happy here and to help the team.”
Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly said: “Marc is an elite defender of proven quality in the Premier League and continues to strengthen our squad for the new season. We continue to work on and off the pitch and are delighted that Marc will be a part of Chelsea’s present and future.”
Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano, co-owners, said: “We are delighted to bring Marc to Chelsea and he is another key part of our squad building as we head into the new season. We are all looking forward to starting on the pitch now and Marc contributes to that feeling. We welcome him to the club!’
Before moving to the south coast, the Catalan grew up footballing in his native Spain, where he rose through the ranks at Espanyol before joining Barcelona aged 14.
He played three full seasons in La Liga, initially on loan at Eibar and Getafe before making a permanent move to the latter in the summer of 2020. Much of his time in Spain was spent playing as a left midfielder in front of his defensive side The game was developed under Graham Potter at Amex Stadium.
The Spaniard made his senior international debut last summer, his only appearance for La Roja to date, and the following month won a silver medal with the Under-23 side at the Tokyo Olympics.