Thursday, June 1, 2023

Manchester City Step Up Effort For Acquiring A Full-Back: Could This Brighton Star Replace Zinchenko?

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Ankit Seth
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In a recent report, The Sun stated that Manchester City are stepping up their efforts to make a bid for Brighton full-back Marc Cucurella. It is understood that Oleksandr Zinchenko is awaiting the green signal to exit the Etihad club and join his teammates in Arsenal. Bringing in a decent replacement remains Pep Guardiola’s top priority.

Cucurella’s Amazing Campaign At The Amex Stadium

Cucurella’s move from Getafe to Brighton has been a huge success. He has adapted to the Premier League and established himself as a key player for the Seagulls. The Spanish left-back has produced some influential displays from the backline as he has managed to score 1 goal and create two assists over 38 appearances last season across all fronts.

The U-23 capped Spain international has been a consistent performer in the defensive department based on his average 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 English first division. He has also been tidy with his ball distribution after completing 82% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Marc Cucurella linked to Manchester City
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Daniel James of Leeds United holds off Marc Cucurella of Brighton & Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United at American Express Community Stadium on November 27, 2021, in Brighton, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
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Is He A Decent Replacement For The Ex-Manchester City Left-Back?

Cucurella has done well in adapting to the Premier League. He has produced some dominant displays in the defensive third of the field with his ability to tackle and intercept the ball. Furthermore, the youngster has proven to be productive on the attacking end as well. He excels at holding on to the ball and making some decent runs down the left flank. He can even chip in with a few assists by creating meaningful chances using his wide array of crossing abilities.

Pep Guardiola needs immediate reinforcements in the backline, particularly in the left-back position, and Cucurella is a perfect choice. His arrival at the Etihad stadium would pave the way for Joao Cancelo to play in his preferred position rather than covering the opposite flank, and the Spanish youngster could serve as a brilliant understudy for Kyle Walker.

However, the deal has been dragged along due to the Seagulls demanding £50m for sanctioning Cucurella’s exit while Man City remain reluctant to meet their demands. Should Brighton lower their asking price, Guardiola would be happy to make a deal happen.

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