Graham Potter hails Marc Cucurella after strong return to Chelsea side: ‘Epitomises what we need’

Graham Potter saw his side produce a third win this week  (REUTERS)
Graham Potter saw his side produce a third win this week (REUTERS)

Graham Potter says Marc Cucurella “epitomises” the spirit that he expects from his Chelsea players after the defender was influential in a win away to Leicester.

The £62million signing from Brighton was impressive in stopping the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and James Maddison in the Blues' 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon.

Having gone almost a month without starting a match, the Spain international reclaimed his place in style with a man of the match performance against Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

Unprompted, Potter highlighted Cucurella’s mentality as an example to his players in his sizeable 32-man squad to keep the faith when not selected.

He said: “It’s been a team performance over the week. It takes time to develop that, but the spirit is growing. The togetherness I really like, fighting to play, ready to play.

“Marc Cucurella has been out of the squad for a while but has now put in two great performances. It epitomises what we need in the squad.

“I’m delighted for the players because it’s been a tough period we’ve been through and now we can look forward to the weekend to try and finish off before the international break with three points.”

In similar circumstances, Mykhailo Mudryk is having to deal with criticism after his £88million move from Shakhtar in January.

The 22-year-old winger returned to the starting line up for the first time in almost a month, getting an assist for Mateo Kovacic to seal victory late in the second half.

Potter added that Mudryk is showing a similar attitude to working behind scenes: “He’ll get better and better. He’s a young player that hasn’t that much experience, so each game he’ll get better and better.

“His attitude is fantastic, he wants to help the team and work with the team. I’m delighted he got an assist and helped us.”

Alongside Kovacic, Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz’s first half goals helped Chelsea defeat Brendan Rodgers’s struggling Leicester side.

Potter was blown away by the assist from Enzo Fernandez for Havertz’s goal, claiming he “sees everything” following the British transfer record signing’s stunning scooped pass.

“He’s a fantastic player, a young player,” Potter continued. “I think he’s going to get better and better when he’s with us more.

“He’s just arrived in a new country and a new league so you always have to adapt to that. You can see his quality, when he gets the ball he passes forward. He sees everything.”