Ex-Arsenal defender calls Chelsea deal for Cucurella a "panic buy"

Image of Spanish defender Marc Cucurella

Chelsea have completed the signing of Brighton full-back Marc Cucurella on a six-year contract for a guaranteed fee of £55 million plus £7 million in add-ons.

The London club outbid Manchester City for the Spanish international player, paying more than the initial £40 million offered to Brighton.

Marc Cucurella became Chelsea's sixth summer signing, joining Eddie Beach, Raheem Sterling, Omari Hutchinson, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Gabriel Slonina as they seek to strengthen their squad depth.

Following Marc Cucurella's deal to Chelsea, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has called the deal for the 24-year-old a "panic buy", claiming that the fee is excessive.

"I think it is too much, Cucurella," Keown said during a live radio show on talkSPORT. "I mean, as good as he is, I think there are still better players out there." "To pay that kind of money when Ben Chilwell and Alonso are still there feels like a panic buy."

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been seeking to rebuild his defensive positions after losing Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, but has only been successful in signing Senegalese international defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Blues saw their several attempts to sign top European defenders slip away from them, with Barcelona hijacking Jules Kounde's deal and Matthijs de Ligt choosing Bayern Munich over the Premier League club.

Tuchel also identified Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe as a potential target, but the French club was unwilling to discuss any deal regarding his transfer.

Following Cucurella's arrival, he becomes the second defender Chelsea have signed in the current transfer window after Kalidou Koulibaly, who joined the Blues from Italian club Napoli.

Cucurella would face fierce competition for the left-back spot from English international, Ben Chilwell, while Chelsea is set to offload Marcos Alonso with Barcelona interested. According to several reports, Barcelona is close to signing the 31-year-old, with ongoing negotiations between the two parties.