Marc Cucurella’s Transfer: A Talent that got away

3 min read
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Barcelona has one of the best youth academy systems in the world, developing many footballing greats like Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Messi, etc. Every La Masia player dreams of playing for the FC Barcelona team, but not everybody’s dreams get fulfilled as some players are sold for making money signings. Unfortunately, Marc Cucurella was one of those players. In his case, He never got the opportunity to display his talent in the senior squad, and was first loaned to Eibar and later to Getafe. After one year in his loan spell, Getafe has exercised their option to buy paying ten million to Barcelona, making it highly improbable for the Spaniard to play ever wearing Barcelona shirt.

Ex La Masia player Marc Cucurella against Ajax
Ex La Masia player Marc Cucurella against Ajax

Cucurella’s player profile

Marc Cucurella joined La Masia at the age of 14. He Maturely grew as a player and was vital for Barcelona B in achieving promotion to Segunda Division. With his Velocious pace and good tackling skill, he was considered as a replacement for Jordi Alba. In the 2018/19 season, As Lucas Digne left the club, Cucurella was expected to play as backup to Jordi Alba. Instead, He was loaned to Eibar after the preseason as the coach Ernesto Valverde decided to use Juan Miranda, who was younger than Cucurella. At Eibar, He quickly adjusted to their philosophy of playing the ball more direct, which helped his team to finish mid-table. He put a remarkable performance against Real Madrid by getting involved in all three goals in 3-0 win against Real Madrid.  Later his successful spell at Eibar, Barcelona Triggered his 4 million buy-back clause before loaning him to Getafe two days later.

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Marc Cucurella at one of the games in La Masia

Tactical Analysis 

This season Cucurella has been mostly used as a left-midfielder or left-winger owning the left side of the field. He tirelessly runs up and down to help his team in both attack and defense. His Heatmap Shows that he likes to burst forward, making crosses down that left flank. He proves his Barca DNA by having an excellent vision to pass the ball to his teammates. Cucurella has played in 42 games this season across all competitions, assisting six goals and netting one himself. Along with his contribution to the attack, he is solid defensively making tackles and winning the ball for the team. This season Cucurella has won 58 aerial duels and made 129 tackles that authenticate his exceptional defensive abilities.

MC Heatmap
Heat Map of Cucurella at Getafe

Comparing his stats From Eibar in the 2018/19 season with Getafe in 2019/20 season, we can see his growth as a player in different aspects. He has been dispossessed less often and generate more tackles per 90 min. Statistics show that Cucurella has improved in winning more aerial duels with better chances creation than last season. With all these capabilities and being a LaMasian product, one could say that he at least deserved a chance to prove himself in the first team.

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Final Word

As the stats suggest, the player has immense talent and could have been the successor of Jordi Alba, but he was never given a proper chance to shine in Barca colours. He had the Barca DNA, but the coach and the Barcelona management always used him for financial purposes selling and loaning out the players for profits. Getafe saw the talent and was quick to pay the buyout fee of 10 million to FC Barcelona, securing this talented player’s services. With Barcelona still unimpressed with Junior Firpo, who was supposed to be the backup Jordi Alba, Cucurella could have been the man for the job. It is questionable whether they made the right choice by letting Cucurella leave. After Arthur’s swap Deal to Juventus and now Cucurella going to Getafe, it is becoming harder for the fans to see the youngsters leave.

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