HomeTRANSFERSChelsea sent a £62m player reminder for transfer plans ahead of the...

Chelsea sent a £62m player reminder for transfer plans ahead of the Liverpool game due to Graham Potter’s position.

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Chelsea sent a £62m player reminder for transfer plans ahead of the Liverpool game due to Graham Potter’s position.

Chelsea have already made four signings in January, with more possible after the addition of Mykhailo Mudryk.

Many people will have observed that Marc Cucurella did not play in Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace. The former Brighton defender sat on the bench for the entire game as the Blues secured three points thanks to Kai Havertz’s goal, though the Blues had to hold on.

Youngster Lewis Hall started on the left side of defense, and when he was removed later in the game, Kalidou Koulibaly took his place as Chelsea maintained their lead. Of course, there may have been physical and height considerations in play as the Eagles looked to find an equaliser but it remains notable.

Cucurella has been a regular member of Chelsea’s squad this season, but has yet to light up the pitch. 

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However, in recent weeks, the 24-year-old has struggled for the same number of minutes. 

He played barely 10 minutes of the defeat to Fulham and did not play in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City after starting against the Premier League champions two days earlier.

On Sunday at Stamford Bridge, it appeared like Cucurella had been replaced by his younger partner, with Hall impressing in a position that has not been his preferred in recent weeks and months. 

The Spanish left defender still has a lot to prove to justify his £62 million price tag.

With Ben Chilwell expected to return, competition for the left side of defense will heat up, with each player trying to establish their worth. Given the price necessary to sign Cucurella, he will be the focus, and with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly also struggling and Raheem Sterling arguably not providing what many expected, despite his contributions, doubts may be raised.

The summer, in particular, was a chaotic era that needed a lot of squad turnover following Chelsea’s purchase, with Todd Boehly becoming interim-sporting director and nothing in the way of senior recruits, with Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech having left the club. Much has changed since then, thanks to people like Christopher Vivell and Paul  Winstanley in place, and Joe Shields and Laurence Stewart set to come into place in February.

“There’s a period of transition and you have to stabilise things and work to support as best you can,” said Potter at the weekend. “If you’re in a position where in a small period too many people are making recruitment decisions, it’s not a recipe for short- or long-term success.

 So we have to stabilise things, make good decisions, and align our resources. Resources are one thing but they have to be aligned and used in the right way.”

With the additions of David Datro Fofana, Joao Felix, Mykhailo Murdyk, and Benoit Badiashile to the first-team roster, as well as Andrey Santos, the pace of transfers has not slowed in January. Pressure will undoubtedly fall on those guys as well.

Cucurella should not be dismissed after his first few months at the club; there have been some encouraging signs, and his adaptability has proven invaluable. His experience with Potter will undoubtedly be beneficial in the future, and once the entire club has settled, the former Brighton defender may be able to develop into his role.

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However, such success should serve as a reminder that the club can find solutions inside itself. There is a problem with the sheer volume of signings  risk of a bloated squad at a minimum.

“Potter said: “We’ve got to be, not necessarily careful, but you’ve got to understand we’ve got ten or eleven players unavailable and you can’t just sign players to replace those because then you’d have a squad of 30 and that is a problem. So you have to do the right thing and look at what the right solutions are.”

Those solutions may already exist at Cobham, and moving forward, this may be part of the plan, given the number of young players signed. However, the fact that an under-21 midfielder can come into the first team and play in defense and impress should serve as a reminder of the quality of player that is available. This should be considered before making large expenditures.

Chelsea sent a £62m player reminder for transfer plans ahead of the Liverpool game due to Graham Potter’s position.

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