Huge Cucurella fee shows the high price to pay for a little Premier League experience

MANCHESTER, England: Chelsea on Friday pledged £62million ($74.72million) to buy Spanish left-back Marc Cucurella from Brighton & Hove Albion, with the south coast club posting a £46million profit for one Scored a player they signed just 12 months ago.

The transfer is one of the most striking examples of how much a player’s value is affected by having proven they can cope with the demands of the Premier League – even for just one season.

Brighton bought Cucurella from Spanish club Getafe for around £16million in August last year and enjoyed an impressive first season in the English top flight.

Champions Manchester City were keen to sign the Barcelona youth product but fell short of Brighton’s asking price and Chelsea, now owned by American Todd Boehly and private equity backers, stepped in to secure the deal for a reported £55million plus surcharges to seal.

Brighton manager Graham Potter said the club had no need to sell the player but unsurprisingly conceded it was a good deal.

“I think the right charge was made and it’s another win-win situation,” he said.

“The player has a great opportunity, the selling club got a good fee and the buying club also has a good player. So win, win, win,” he said.

Cucurella’s agent would no doubt agree.

Brighton struck a similar deal last year when they sold centre-back Ben White, who also had just one season in the top flight, to Arsenal for a reported £52million.

White had come through youth at Brighton so this deal represented a 100 per cent win for the club and, like Cucurella, the price raised many eyebrows.

In fact, Cucurella and White’s sales exceed what Brighton paid to build their £93million Amex stadium.


But while the Seagulls may gain a reputation as masters of maximizing the value of their talent, the impact of a proven Premier League player on a transfer fee has been seen elsewhere.

Brazilian striker Richarlison signed for Watford for £11million in August 2017 and a year later Everton paid more than triple that to bring him to Goodison Park.

Spending £35m on a player who had scored five goals in England in his debut season seemed extravagant at the time, but after impressing at Merseyside in July he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £50m plus a possible £10m .

Wolverhampton Wanderers signed Diogo Jota from Atletico Madrid for £12m when they were in the second division but after two seasons in the Premier League he was worth £40m to Liverpool.

With the Premier League considered to be the top competition in the world, it’s clear that managers want to sign players for top teams that they are sure are ready for this level.

The effect is also evident in smaller deals.

Ireland defender Nathan Collins, who made just 18 top-flight starts for Burnley, saw his value rise from the £12million the Clarets paid Stoke City to Wolves’ 21million spent on him last month.

That equates to an increase in value of £500,000 for every match Collins has played in the Premier League.

However, the calculation for Cucurella shows his per-game market value has increased by an impressive £1.3million.

Chelsea’s acquisition has been called “nonsensical” by former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.

“It’s an incredible amount of money. I think it’s too much. Cucurella, as good as he is, I think there are always better players out there,” he told Talksport.

“It feels like panic buying. The new owner has walked in and wants to make a difference. On the eve of the new season, he makes a statement with this kind of signature. Is it too much money spent? I think maybe that’s it.”

($1 = 0.8297 pounds)