Graeme Potter hails Mark Cucurella after Chelsea return: ‘Be what we need’


The £62million signing from Brighton was impressive in stopping Kelechi Iheanacho and James Maddison in the Blues’ 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon.

After almost a month without starting a game, the Spain international returned to his place with a man of the match performance against Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

Potter pointed to Cucurella’s mentality as a role model for his players in the crucial 32-man squad to keep faith when not selected.

He said: “It’s been a team performance all week. It takes time to develop, but the spirit grows. Part I really like, fight to play, ready to play.

“Marc Cucurella has been out of the team for a while, but has now had two great games. He embodies what we need in a team.

“I’m delighted for the players because we’ve come through a tough period and now we can look forward to the weekend trying to finish with the three points before the international break.”

In a similar vein, Mykhailo Mudric came under fire after his £88m move from Shakhtar in January.

The 22-year-old winger returned to the starting line-up for the first time in a month and assisted Mateo Kovacic for a late second-half winner.

Potter said that’s how Mudrick feels about working behind the scenes: “It just keeps getting better. He is a young player with no experience, so he will improve every game.

“He has a great attitude, he wants to help the team and work with the team. I am glad that he became an assistant and helped us.

Along with Kovacic, first-half goals from Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz helped Chelsea beat Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester side.

Potter was impressed by Enzo Fernandez’s assist for Havertz’s goal, saying he was “watching it all” after the brilliant assist for Britain’s transfer record.

“He’s a great player, a young player,” Potter continued. “I think he’ll be better when he’s with us more.

“He came to a new country and a new league, so you always have to adapt to that. You can see his quality, when he wins the ball, he passes forward. He sees everything.

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