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    Maresca’s ace has just saved his Chelsea career after Euro heroics

    Chelsea’s new boss, Enzo Maresca, will be watching the 2024 European Championships closely this summer in preparation for his first season at Stamford Bridge.

    On top of the international tournament being a perfect opportunity to scout talent, it’s also a stage for players to prove their worth.

    With any new manager, individuals have to fight for their place in the starting eleven, and there’s no better way to prepare for next season than to have a fantastic Euros.

    The Blues only have five outfield players competing in Germany, and one of those could have just saved his Chelsea career after an absolutely immense showing for his nation.

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    Marc Cucurella’s 23/24 campaign

    When Mauricio Pochettino arrived at Chelsea last year, Marc Cucurella would’ve finally thought he had a great shot at becoming Chelsea’s first-choice left back, considering the boss deploys a standard 4-2-3-1.

    Instead, he initially found himself sitting on the bench with Levi Colwill operating in his spot, with his first Premier League start of the campaign in his usual position coming towards the end of October.

    marc-cucurella-chelsea-premier-league

    Once the Spaniard was in the side, there was no looking back; he started 20 league games in total and became a reliable performer.

    The former Brighton & Hove Albion played a huge role in the Blues securing European football, having featured from the off in their five-game win streak at the end of the campaign.

    Despite slowly working his way into the Argentine’s best eleven, he will now have to prove himself to Maresca, but his performance against Italy will have handed him a huge boost.

    Marc Cucurella’s performance against Italy

    Although Cucurella’s performances did improve as the 2023/24 season went on, Boehly has reportedly been considering selling the 25-year-old this summer.

    However, his showing against Italy last night may make the owner think twice, as he was absolutely immense from the first whistle until the last.

    cucurella-spain

    While playing as the left-back for the only country to have kept two clean sheets thus far at the Euros, Cucurella justified why he was once bought for £60m.

    For the context of just how impressive he was, The Independent handed the defender an 8/10 rating, the joint highest score in the entire Spain squad, as Cucurella showcased defensive tenacity against Davide Fratessi, Federico Chiesa, and Andrea Cambiaso, who all struggled to get the better of the Chelsea ace.

    Cucurella vs Italy

    Stats

    Cucurella

    Touches

    73

    Passes completed

    52

    Pass accuracy

    98%

    Chances created

    3

    Big chances created

    2

    Tackles

    5

    Interceptions

    3

    Duels won

    10/13

    Via Fotmob

    The number 24 won ten of his 13 duels, made five tackles and three interceptions, and was dribbled past zero times, which proves he played with a proactive and intense approach.

    This defensive security would’ve impressed Maresca the most, mainly due to the fact that in his system, the left-back tends to tuck in to make a back three when in possession.

    marc-cucurella-spain

    On the other hand, the tenacious star was also extremely impactful in the final third, creating three chances and two big chances, which proves he has the ability to serve as a creator.

    Furthermore, Cucurella looked extremely comfortable in possession, which helped Spain dominate the proceedings, taking 73 touches, losing possession just twice, and completing all but one of his 53 passes.

    Overall, it’s quite clear that Cucurella was absolutely outstanding against the Italians, and if he can perform like that for the rest of the competition, he’ll surely become Chelsea’s first-choice left back next season, saving his future at Stamford Bridge.

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