Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Manchester City In Pursuit Of Brighton Full-Back: Why Is He An Important Addition To The Squad?

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Ankit Seth
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In a recent report, Manchester Evening News stated that Manchester City are in pursuit of Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella as he emerged as a surprise target after the Mancunian giants secured Erling Haaland in a Marquee signing. It is understood that the Sky Blues need to address their left-back situation this summer and Cucurella is being deemed as a priority signing for them.

Cucurella’s Impressive Campaign With Brighton & Hove Albion

The 23-year-old’s move from Getafe to Brighton has been an enormous success. He has stood his ground and performed as expected. The Spanish left-back has established himself as one of the key players in Brighton’s starting XI as he has managed to score 1 goal and create two assists over 38 appearances across all competitions.

The U-23 capped Spaniard has performed consistently based on his averages of 0.5 shots, 0.8 dribbles, 1.2 key passes, 2.7 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game in the Premier League. He has also been impressive in distributing possession, completing 82% of his attempted passes in the English first division (stats via whoscored).

Manchester City (Marc Cucurella)
Getafe’s Spanish defender Marc Cucurella (R) vies with Valencia’s Central African Republic-French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia during the Spanish league football match between Getafe CF and Valencia CF at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on February 8, 2020. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Why Could Cucurella Be An Important Signing For Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City?

Cucurella can use his pace to make some decent runs with the ball down the left flank. The youngster has adapted to the Premier League superbly and has performed consistently, producing some stellar performances in the backline. He can even chip in by creating opportunities in the final third with his vision and impressive ball distribution.

With the Winter World Cup underway at the end of this year, the majority of Guardiola’s players will be fatigued as the Premier League resumes right after. To ensure that City remain capable of defending their title, the squad needs to be formidable. As of now, their current left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to exit Etihad this summer, and Pep needs to find a decent replacement; this is where Cucurella fits the bill perfectly.

Should Cucurella arrive at Etihad in this transfer window, Joao Cancelo would be able to play in his preferred right-back position next season as he wouldn’t be required to provide cover in the left flank. Squad depth is important in modern football and the full-backs play a key role in creating chances in the attacking third of the field. The involvement of the full-backs will allow Haaland to rack up more goals and secure their position at the top of the table.

Signing a left-back is very important for the Sky Blues, and Guardiola has been wise to pursue this Brighton defender. He should make a bid and finalise the deal before the start of the next season, which could turn out to be a brilliant move from the gaffer.

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