Chelsea manager, Graham Potter was not the only former Brighton man returning to the Amex Stadium with Chelsea on Saturday as it was also a homecoming for Marc Cucurella.
A decision needed to be made amid Thiago Silva’s fitness concerns and Marc Cucurella‘s poor performances was the cause of the defeat.
Although,they spent last season on the south coast before joining the Blues in the summer for £62 million.
As part of Potter’s expansive back three at the Amex Stadium, Cucurella excelled both at wingback and when deployed on the left of the back three.
However, he has struggled defensively at his new club since Potter’s arrival.
Those issues were on full display against the Seagulls on Saturday as Cucurella was terrorised by his former teammate Solly March, leading to some harsh criticism from Blues supporters.
Potter has been keen to rotate his Chelsea team between games but he has also not been afraid of making tactical tweaks
And early substitutions in games, with Cucurella often being the man to make way.
Cucurella has started Chelsea’s last four Premier League games but is yet to make it beyond the 62nd minute
Following a tactical withdrawal in the first half of the draw with Manchester United and having been brought off at half time for Kalidou Koulibaly against Aston Villa.
Defensive injuries have been a problem for Potter thus far as Chelsea boss, already seeing Wesley Fofana
Reece James suffer knee injuries and Koulibaly was added to that list after picking up an injury in the draw with Brentford just over 10 days ago.
The timeline for his injury is unclear, although Potter, in his pre-match Brighton press conference
“An outside chance” of playing against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday night.
After the Blues win against RB Salzburg, their Champions League knockout stage status has been confirmed
Blues have makes their final match of the group stage dead rubber with top spot also secured.
Potter may not want to bring Koulibaly straight back in from the cold, but he may have no choice
Thiago Silva very likely in need of a rest having played all three of Chelsea’s games in the past week.
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The poor form of Cucurella will be a concern to Potter, especially as many would have expected he would be one of the players. To thrive given the understanding the pair would have built up during their time together at the Seagulls.
However, he may be afforded the chance to show what he is capable of if Koulibaly can’t quite make the game
Thiago Silva unlikely to be risked ahead of any Premier League match next Sunday against Arsenal