Mark Cucurella will be available for Chelsea’s first Premier League game against Everton after the Blues have completed signing for Brighton for £60m.
The 24-year-old defender has signed a six-year deal with Chelsea and Brighton are in talks for a record sale for the club.
The Spaniard Cucurella adds even more quality and depth to Chelsea’s options at full-back, following the previous summer’s newcomers Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Karni Chukwuemeka to Stamford Bridge.
Levi Colville also joined Brighton on a season’s loan in a deal separate from Cucurella’s move to Chelsea, but this had to be completed for both moves to be made.
Chelsea raised a large fee for Cucurella while Manchester City dropped the asking price earlier in the summer and manager Thomas Tuchel was delighted with the new acquisition.
Tuchel also said Cucurella’s arrival would help ease pressure on England full-back Ben Chilwell, who will need time to get back into shape after a long recovery from knee surgery.
“He is young, hungry, mobile and a very smart player,” Cucurella’s Tuchel said.
“It helps with depth and quality and it helps with Ben to avoid the pressure I have to deliver and we need you right now.
“Of course, we currently have Marcos Alonso, Kenedy and Emerson in this position.
“But hopefully when things go well, Mark will be an option for the position.
For me, this is a great opportunity to join one of the best clubs in the world.Mark Cucurella
“And I think he can play very well in the back three, so it’s kind of like the profile of Aspi (Azpilicuet) on the left flank. It offers us many options.
“Especially for Ben, he is very, very ambitious, he can’t wait to get back to team training.
“Ben is looking better and better, but at the same time it seems like he needs a little more time to adapt to the rhythm and the physical form of the match itself, which is absolutely normal.
“It’s not just about practice and practice drills and small pitches, it’s a very, very demanding league after all.
“And we have to take care of him, it’s our responsibility, so we can’t just leave him and see what happens.
“He is impatient and we never expect him to be completely patient, but he knows, as we talk about it a lot, that everything needs its time and he will get time, and yet we will try to get him on the field as soon as possible. “. as much as possible.
“Because he is very useful for us on the left flank with his speed and intensity repetition.”
Cucurella’s arrival gives Tuchel the depth and quality of wingback he’s been craving since his early days at Stamford Bridge.
Colville’s highly rated loan to Brighton represents another boost for Chelsea as the Seagulls were initially pushing hard to sign the 19-year-old on a full-time basis.
“I am very happy, this is a great opportunity for me to join one of the best clubs in the world and I will work hard to be happy here and help the team,” Cucurella said.
Chelsea chairman and co-owner Todd Boly has welcomed another signing that already boasts Premier League experience, one of the Blues’ top targets this summer.
“Mark is an elite defender with a proven track record in the Premier League and he will further strengthen our side this season,” said Boli.
“We continue to work on and off the pitch and we are delighted that Mark will be part of the present and future at Chelsea.