Loaned out from Barcelona this summer with just one Copa del Rey appearance under his belt, few expected Marc Cucurella to hit the headlines when he joined La Liga’s Basque minnows, Eibar. Ernesto Valverde decided that he wasn’t up to scratch after two pre-season appearances and didn’t hesitate to loan the 20-year-old out with an option to buy.

“This guy isn’t quick, he’s not strong, in every test that we do with the machines we have, he doesn’t even feature. With those stats, you’d never sign him,” his new coach at Eibar, Jose Luis Mendilibar, explains. “But he’s very clever, he chooses well, he’s a great footballer, that’s Marc Cucurella.”

Here, our tactical analysis will provide analysis of how the Spaniard has performed on loan at Eibar from Barcelona in La Liga.

Getting the best out of him

Marc Cucurella Eibar Barcelona Tactical Analysis
On the left, Cucurella’s heatmap this season, compared to last season at Barcelona B on the right.

A left-back throughout his rise through the Barcelona ranks, he had struggled to breakthrough at times. With fierce competition with Juan Miranda at Barcelona B, he finally nailed down a regular spot in 2017/18 as first choice left-back. However, he knew that the start of this season would be a battle to see who would be the alternative to Jordi Alba. Valverde deployed him in his favourite position against both Tottenham and Roma in the International Champions Cup, but eventually opted to choose Miranda and send Cucurella out on loan.

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