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19th best left back part of important battle for Chelsea next season

19th best left back part of important battle for Chelsea next season
19th best left back part of important battle for Chelsea next season

Marc Cucurella looked good for Spain tonight as he played the first half against Northern Ireland.

It continues an upward trend of form for him since the turn of the year. He looked good more often than not, especially in the final run of games where he was used “inverted” – coming into midfield from the left when his team had the ball.

That led to his Spain callup, and it’s now confirmed he will be going to Germany with his country, with a decent chance to get some minutes, if this performance was anything to go by. Alejandro Grimaldo had a great season and is a superb attacking option, but Cucurella will come on regularly in games and could even start if the Spanish decide on a less aggressive style.

An up and down season

A look at WhoScored’s rankings of left backs this season shows Cucurella way down in 19th among players who have played that position. It’s not great, there are few clubs without at least one left back who did better than him over the course of the year. It’s a simplistic measure, for sure, but it gives an indication of his level through the campaign, to stop us being a prisoner of the moment.

Interestingly, Levi Colwill, who played a solid chunk of the season there, is in 7th place among left backs. He will provide an important option next season, with Ben Chilwell available too.

All 3 of them provide very different things, and one of the interesting battles early on will be seeing which one wins the battle and earns the trust of new manager Enzo Maresca.

As we saw last season, all of them is likely to get a run at some point. Let’s hope one excels enough to make the role their own.