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Cucurella or Chilwell - who should be Chelsea's first choice?

Ben Chilwell

Kolkata, September 23: In modern football, it is absolutely essential for clubs to have solid squad depth as well as having a strong starting XI. We see most top manager tinkering their lineups week in week out in order to keep players happy and fit.

At most top clubs, we see brilliant players competing for a place in the starting XI, but Chelsea's depth at left-back is absolutely out of this world.

The Blues already had one of the best left-backs in the Premier League in Ben Chilwell and have signed Marc Cucurella from Brighton & Hove Albion this summer.

Chilwell made his move to Chelsea in the summer of 2020 from Leicester City for a fee of around £45 million. The Englishman has been absolutely brilliant for the Blues but he has endured a tough time with injuries. Since his move to Stamford Bridge, the England international has missed as many as 43 games with injuries.

Cucurella has been brought in by the West London club this summer from Brighton in a deal worth an initial £55 million, potentially rising to £62 million in add-ons. The Spaniard has so far started six of the Blues' eight games across all competitions with Chilwell starting the other two.

Cucurella has played 556 minutes of first team football this season and provided two assists while Chilwell already has one goal and two assists in just 191 minutes of time on the pitch.

Potter will be spoilt for choice while naming his starting XI with two sensational left-backs available at his disposal.

Cucurella might hold an advantage over Chilwell with Potter now in charge at Stamford Bridge. The new Chelsea manager knows the Spaniard well from their time together at Brighton.

The Spaniard has another big advantage due to his natural fitness. He has not missed a single game with injury since 2017 while Chilwell has a por history with injuries.

However, a fit Chilwell might very well be the best left-back in the Premier League. Cururella is also pretty gifted but is not as effective as Chilwell while going forward.

There is a chance that Potter will find a way to have both Chilwell and Cucurella playing together at the same time. Potter mostly used a 3-4-2-1 formation during his time at Brighton, where Cucurella played in a left centre-back role. If the new Blues boss opts to use the same tactics at Stamford Bridge, both Cucurella and Chilwell can play at the same time.

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Story first published: Friday, September 23, 2022, 8:55 [IST]
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