As reported by multiple sources, Marc Cucurella could be on his way out this summer. It is believed that Manchester City are preparing to bid for the La Masia graduate soon enough, after selling one more of their players. And as far as the Seagulls are concerned, they are willing to sell their highly-rated full-back if they get a bid in the region of £50million.
This could prove to be a start of a testing period for Graham Potter, considering how highly he thought of the Spanish Left Back. But this is football, you have merry days and then you just get these harsh and testing times- that really test you to the core. And in a way, Brighton can benefit from such a deal as well. Recently, they lost Yves Bissouma to Spurs and now Cucurella’s move could help them muster a huge sum that they can invest in signing good replacements for the outgoing players.
So, let’s take a look at 3 of the good Left Back replacements for Graham Potter and Brighton if the Marc Cucurella deal to Manchester City is finalised before the end of the summer transfer window.
Nicolás Tagliafico (AFC Ajax)
The 29-year-old Argentine Left Back has been a crucial part of the Eredivisie club Ajax for 5 years now. Tagliafico signed for the Dutch giants from Independiente back in 2018, and since then he has made 167 appearances for the club. During that time he has scored a total of 16 goals and has provided another 22 assists, playing in the Left Back position for de Godenzonen (Sons of the Gods).
Tagliafico is known for his work rate, stamina, and ability to pin in perfect time crosses from the deep to set his teammates free upfront. During his time here, in the Netherlands, the Argentine LB has averaged almost 82% successful passes- in all the competitions that he has played in. Talking about the interceptions- well as a busy full-back, Tagliafico has a knack for reading the game quite well enough as he has averaged at least 2 interceptions/90 mins for the Dutch side. Also, he has received 10 out of the 13 career man of the match awards, while playing for Ajax!
To add to all this, a week ago Brighton were also linked with the experienced full-back, only for it to cool down now… But, if the Seagulls want solidity in that area after Cucurella’s departure, well Tagliafico is the man to go for. Not to mention, he can also play as an LM (left midfielder) if required. However, the only hindrance to this deal could be Tagliafico’s age. It will understandable enough if Potter or the recruitment team might look away from this one because of the Argentine’s age- given Cucurella was just 23. But, having been priced by Ajax as low as €5 million, this could be the perfect bargain signing for BHA.
Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto)
FC Porto are known to ‘hoard’ mystery players, of immense talent and promise. Another such talent is their 25-year-old Nigerian Left-Back in, Zaidu Sanusi. Some of you might have heard of him- if you follow the Primeira Liga (Portuguese League)- but to most of your ears, it might be a fresh name.
So just for the background, Zaidu Sanusi joined the Nigerian academy of Jega United when he was just 16 before moving out to Portugal to explore European football. He was 19 when he joined a Liga Portugal side, Gil Vicente. But, things didn’t go as planned and he was sold to SC Mirandela for a free transfer in 2018- after spending a short loan spell there. However, his career went uphill from thereon in. After spending a year at Mirandela, Santa Clara signed him for free in 2019. It was here, that Zaidu found his rhythm and it just skyrocketed his career to another level- laying down his mark in the Top tier of the Portuguese League.
Meanwhile, it was until 2020 when the Nigerian completed a move to FC Porto, that he realised what it is to play for one of the big European clubs. Since then, Zaidu has made 80 appearances in just 2 complete seasons with the club- just goes to show, how much of an asset he must have become for the Dragons. So far at Porto, he has shown his versatility and efficiency, not just playing as a Left Back, but also as a Left Midfielder, and as a Centre-back, whenever he has been asked to do so. Adding to this, he has also been capped 10 times while playing for his National side- Nigeria.
To sum it up, Zaidu is strong with his positional sense, strength, and ability to move the ball upwards from the defence with composure. Although his contract with Porto runs pale in 2025, he is still valued at a bargain price of £20m by the Portuguese Champions. But, this does not mean that Seagulls might go for him without having any challenges from other clubs. Brighton’s Premier League rivals are favourites to land the Nigerian with the player’s agent- Jorge Mendes- already believed to be in talks. So it seems as if Brighton must show urgency if they want to land a cut deal for Zaidu.
David Raum (TSG Hoffenheim)
Last but not least on the list, is Hoffenheim’s 24-year-old Left Back David Raum. Born in Nuremberg, Germany, Raum started his career at the local Nurnberg Academy- moving his way up the pedestal from there onwards. And now, in his debut season with Hoffenheim, he has exactly shown why he is one to watch out for in the coming years. Constantly looking to develop, not giving his opponents even the slightest of hints on his next move- Raum is surely one of the “most suited for the Premier League” Left-back on this list.
The young German Left Back has caught the eye of many European clubs with his consistent performances in the debut Bundesliga season. He scored 3 goals and assisted another 13 in just 32 league appearances for Hoffenheim. Raum has been in the thick of the talks since the summer transfer market opened up. Clubs like Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, are reported, looking to get the services of the talented full-back. So it is already looking a bit difficult of an option for the Seagulls to get their hands on.
The cherry on the cake, Hoffenheim have valued their star Left-Back in the region of €40-50million (according to si.com). But, it is not over until and unless it is over! Brighton must be patient and should look to sell Marc Cucurella at a higher price as they were looking to do so before. With that deal, they could then fund such expensive transfers and get a good replacement for Cucurella – if he moves out of the Amex in this transfer window.