Chelsea have completed the signing of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella in a deal that will cost the Blues around £62 million, as they look to strengthen their wing-back positions.
The Spaniard has been Brighton’s most impressive player over the past season, and he was linked with a move to Manchester City, before Chelsea showed interest.
Having moved from La Liga in 2021, the left-back has grown, and having previously been let go by Barcelona, he’s showing why they were too soon to let go.
He’s not the only one to show that, as in recent times, there are several players the Blaugrana have let go too early.
1. Marc Cucurella
The most recent instance of a player that left Barcelona and found success elsewhere is Cucurella, who attended the team’s academy from 2012 to 2017.
He left the team in 2020 after making just one senior team appearance. Prior to his time at Brighton, where he rose to become one of the league’s top full backs, he enjoyed success in La Liga with Eibar and Getafe.
After one outstanding season on the south coast of England, Cucurella is now the most expensive wing-back in history, and Barcelona is hunting for Jordi Alba’s long-term replacement.
What a fascinating path for Marc Cucurella’s career. Arriving in England as such a well-rounded player, he left Barcelona to join Eibar and Getafe, two La Liga clubs that least resembled La Masia.
2. Thiago Alcantara
Thiago, who has performed well with Liverpool after spending a few successful years with Bayern Munich, is another player who is currently flourishing in the Premier League.
After graduating from Barcelona’s academy, the midfielder departed the club in 2013 because of competition from players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Cesc Fabregas.
He later enjoyed success with Bayern, finishing his final year with a triple, before joining Liverpool and enjoying domestic success.
3. Mauro Icardi
Icardi was a good forward at his best, but it’s simple to forget how brilliant he is when his name is in the press for off-the-field issues.
He left Barcelona in 2011 and has consistently argued that it was the appropriate move for him to leave after performing admirably for the club’s youth team from 2008 until his departure.
Since then, he has had a fantastic Serie A career with Sampdoria and Inter, despite being frequently overshadowed by problems, and he also had a part in Paris Saint-most Germain’s recent domestic triumphs.
4. Mikel Arteta
Although most people associate Arteta’s career with being a solid Premier League midfielder with Everton and Arsenal, he actually began his career with Barcelona.
He first joined the club’s youth in 1997 and progressed through the C and B divisions before being loaned out to PSG.
After it became evident that he would not have a future at Barcelona, he eventually signed with Rangers and has since enjoyed success in the Premier League.
5. Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina, who made a good number of appearances for the Blaugrana before departing, is another player who departed Barcelona for a successful career in the Premier League.
Between 1995 and 2002, Reina played 41 times for the senior team when he was at Barcelona, progressing from the youth teams.
After being ousted by the competition, he settled down with Villarreal and eventually enjoyed successful stints with Liverpool and Napoli.