Cucurella shares insights on how he has developed from the initial challenges he faced at Chelsea
Cucurella struggled during his first season with Chelsea last year following his £63m transfer from Brighton
The left-back nearly joined Man Utd on loan this summer before talks collapsed
Cucurella has enjoyed a positive string of performances in recent weeks.
Marc Cucurella has admitted he failed to live up to expectations during his first season at Chelsea as he strives to learn from his slow start.
Chelsea outbid Manchester City to secure Cucurella’s services in a £63m transfer in the summer of 2022, but the left-back struggled to justify that fee in his debut season and faced calls from fans to leave the club this summer.
Manchester United held talks over signing Cucurella on loan and looked set to complete a deal before those negotiations broke down, but despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, the Spaniard has managed to fight his way back into Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.
“I’m not happy with my first season, but I can learn a lot, especially in the bad moments,” he told Sky Sports.
“I can learn when I need to manage the head because that is so important in football. Before I came here, I always played and played well and never had problems like this.
“But here when I came, I didn’t play at my level, I’m a little bit frustrated and I can learn to manage this. Now I can show them that I’m very happy here and all the things I learnt last season, I can put here in this season.
“I think this season is better. I’m very good mentally and I think this is one of the important things because if you are good mentally and in your life, I think you can you can play better, you can help the team and you can enjoy this.”
A natural left-back, Cucurella showed an ability to play at centre-back during his time with Brighton & Hove Albion but he has impressed Pochettino this year at right-back, helping to cover for injured duo Reece James and Malo Gusto.
“It is good because if I play more positions, I have more opportunities so this is better for sure,” the Chelsea man of his new role.
“I’ve never played on the right and it is not easy. Sometimes you need different things and you need to have time to learn because it’s the same but on the opposite side so you need to change some things.
“I remember the first minutes [at right-back], I felt a little strange because what I wanted to go one way and my body went to the inside, but these are this small details. But then with more minutes, you can do this. It is good because I try to do my best and do whatever the manager decides.”