Chelsea star set to make life difficult for Maresca after surprising everyone at Euro 2024

Enzo Maresca is set to take the reins at Chelsea ahead of the 2024/25 season (Image: Getty)

Doubts have surrounded Marc Cucurella ever since he joined Chelsea from Brighton & Hove Albion FC in a mega-money deal two years ago. But the Spaniard is currently proving his worth both in attack and defence at Euro 2024.

Spain have been the most impressive side and they have already booked their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 4-1 win over Georgia. Cucurella started that match, as he has in every other game at the tournament aside from the group-stage win over Albania, in which manager Luis de la Fuente made wholesale changes.

Cucurella has often been labelled a weak link at Chelsea, which will have given new manager Enzo Maresca food for thought ahead of his debut Premier League campaign.

But the 25-year-old has been one of the brightest performers in one of the brightest teams at this summer’s Euros. For starters, he has a better success rate in one-on-one duels than any other player at the tournament.

Of those to have contested more than 30 duels, Cucurella is more efficient than anyone, winning 72.7 per cent of them. The likes of Joao Palahinha and Pepe – both regularly lauded for their defensive contributions – can’t even match that.

While flashy wingers Nico Williams and Yamine Lamal soak up the plaudits for La Roja, Cucurella is playing the role of unsung hero exceptionally well. And it leaves Maresca with a difficult decision to make.

Marc Cucurella has performed brilliantly for Spain at Euro 2024 (Image: Getty)

Given the former Leicester City manager’s favoured four-at-the-back formation, the starting berth at left-back will likely be a straight fight between Cucurella and Ben Chilwell. Levi Colwill can also play at full-back but he has predominantly risen through the ranks as a promising central defender.

Chilwell has long been the preferred option among Chelsea’s fanbase, but he wasn’t even selected to represent England at Euro 2024. While Chilwell has been resting ahead of the new season, Cucurella’s stock has surged.

Blues supporters will hope that a change in manager brings the best out of Cucurella, whose move from Brighton in 2022 set the club back a whopping £63million. Spells of good form have been sporadic across 59 appearances for Chelsea thus far.

At Euro 2024, Spain boss De la Fuente is proving that it’s possible to bring the kind of performances out of Cucurella which convinced Chelsea to part with so much money in the first place.