Cucurella or Miranda: Who must Barcelona prefer?
Last season, Ernesto Valverde had two options for the left-back position. First is the ever-so-consistent Jordi Alba, who again became an undisputed starter after the departure of Luis Enrique, and other was the Frenchman Lucas Digne.
But, during the start of 2018-19 season, after the 25-year-old Digne decided to move to Everton to get some game time, there has been a void in the position of deputy left-back. Now to fill the loophole, the board had decided to rely on the B-team left-backs rather than going into the transfer market.
Now the B-team had two left-backs at that time.
The older one is Marc Cucurella, who is 20 years old and was with Barcelona B from 2016 until last year. The other one is Juan Miranda, who is about to turn 19 this month and is with the team since the start of 2017 season.
Now the board had to choose between two options; first is to keep both of them and give each of them fair chance in the B-team and based on that performance, choose who will feature for first team. But, that would significantly reduce their respective game time.
The other option is to send one of them on loan and use other as a deputy to Jordi Alba as well as an undisputed starter in B-team.
They chose the second option, which seems better of the two. In this way, both will get good amount of playing time and that would not hinder each other's development.
The board had put their stakes on Miranda and in the last summer transfer window, while Cucurella had been loaned out to SD Eibar for one season. It's also important to know here that the contract also includes an option of making the move permanent for a reported fee of €5 million.
But, who should they prefer?
Comparing their playing style
Miranda: The current B-team left back is more of a conservative type of player than someone who rushes forward every time the team marauds the opposition back line. This doesn't mean that he is bad going forward. In fact, his vision is good and is probably the better passer of the ball than his counterpart. Also, his 6 ft 1 inch frame is an asset for the team during aerial duels and set pieces.
Cucurella: On the other hand, Cucurella is more of an attacking wing back than Miranda. He is often able to do a fair amount of work on the defensive side thanks to his speed, but the attack is where he truly shines. Making overlapping runs during the whole match and supporting the team in attack is his specialty.
In short, Miranda is more on the balanced side and have much more room for improvement. On the other side, Cucurella is more similar to Alba and already amassing the first-hand experience of LaLiga.
In the distant future, should Barcelona have to choose between the two of them, it is safe to say that, at the moment, letting go of Cucurella for a mere fee of €5 million will be a blunder.Published 15 Jan 2019, 14:36 IST