Marc Cucurella transfer: What the £15m left back can bring to Brighton and who is Albion target Kaoru Mitoma?
Brighton continue to be linked with two key players as Graham Potter looks to improve his squad ahead Albion’s fifth consecutive Premier League campaign – football writer Sonny Turner analyses their strengths and weaknesses
Marc Cucurella: The 5ft 8inch Spaniard plays predominantly on the left of midfield for Getafe, but can also be deployed at left back.
With one senior cap, and having represented Spain at every level from under-16 to under-23, Cucurella, 23, possesses great pedigree. This, combined with the player’s time at Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, makes for a very exciting prospect.
Currently with Spain at the Olympics, Cucurella featured as a defender in his side’s 1-0 win against Australia. This versatility could make him perfect for Graham Potter who often plays five in defence – a place at left-wing back could get the best out of the Spaniard.
Fast feet, neat passing, and a high defensive work rate must also interest Potter. The Brighton boss’ intent to play attractive football, whilst also being pragmatic against the stronger sides, seems to be embodied in Cucurella, whose good technical ability is matched by his defensive determination.
With three goals and two assists in 39 appearances last season, the Spanish international’s goal contributions won’t leave Brighton fans impressed.
With their need to score more goals, a place further forwards for Cucurella could be unlikely given his output in the final third.
At left-wing back, however, the £15m rated player could prove a valuable asset.
Kaoru Mitoma: Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma, 24, plays for J1 League side Kawasaki Frontale. The forward enjoyed an impressive first season, scoring 18 goals with 13 assists in just 37 appearances.
This fine form was key to Frontale as they won a league and cup double, setting the record for the fastest league win and highest number of points.
Capable of swiftly twisting his slim 5ft 10in frame, Mitoma’s quick feet, dribbling and direct style have made him a nightmare for defenders. He has continued his form this season, netting 12 times and assisting five in 24 appearances so far.
Mitoma has represented Japan at youth level, and is currently playing for them in the Olympics, but so far has only made one substitute appearance.
With composure in front of goal, Mitoma could be what Brighton need as their xG tally last season became a regular talking point.
However, it’s believed the winger doesn’t yet meet work permit requirements, so a loan move may be forced in his first season at the club. This could provide Mitoma a chance to gain experience at a higher level.