Tottenham and Chelsea are reportedly locked in a battle for Barcelona’s young sensation Marc Cucurella, who looks set to leave the Spanish club in the summer. The 18-year-old is out of contract and Barcelona have been extremely working hard to sign him up on a new contract. If not, Cucurella could become the latest version of Cesc Fabregas by swapping sunny Spain for a rainy London. Fabregas moved to Arsenal as a teenager when he was not bound to any contract with Barcelona. This meant that the Catalan club only received a token development fee for the move.
Cucurella, who is 18 and is regarded as a real talent in the Barcelona youth setup, has failed to agree terms with the club. Incredibly, he was a player with Espanyol youth setup before moving to Barcelona in 2012. Since then, he has progressed through the various levels at Barcelona before being considered as one of the members of the B team. A defender who plays in the left back position, Cucurella is expected to make the same kind of progress as Hector Bellerin.
He came to prominence during the UEFA youth league when he made 10 appearances and scored one goal. As any full-back from the Barcelona youth setup, Cucurella is capable of making significant contribution going forward. His ability to attack is one of the main reasons for the interest from England.
Bellerin is one of the last high profile names to make the move from Barcelona to London. He has so far been an immense success with Arsenal being capable of doing without players like Mathieu Debuchy and Bacary Sagna quite easily.
Spurs left back Danny Rose has been regarded as one of the finest in his position this season. Even full internationals like Ben Davies have struggled to dislodge Rose from his position. At 25 years of age, the England star is just entering into the peak of his career and will be able to contribute for several years to come. Looking from a long-term perspective, though, Spurs see signing a talented youngster like Cucurella as a key part of the progress. However, the club will have to face competition from Chelsea amongst other clubs in order to sign the 18-year-old.
Chelsea recently brought in Marcos Alonso as the first choice left back from Fiorentina for £25 million. However, there are no real alternatives for Antonio Conte for the left back position. Cucurella will be able to be groomed in the mould of Ashley Cole as one of the top attacking left backs.
The much better record for Tottenham in developing youngsters might actually play into the hands of Spurs rather than Chelsea, who have not produced much from their youth setup.