Graham Potter says Marc Cucurella is ready as Brighton dealings put to the test

The Spanish defender joined from Getafe ahead of the deadline in a reported £15.4million deal

By Press Association Published: 9 September 2021 - 2.54pm

Brighton boss Graham Potter feels new signing Marc Cucurella is ready to throw himself straight into Premier League action and admits the club’s summer transfer window dealings are about to be put to the test.

Spanish defender Cucurella joined Albion from Getafe ahead of the deadline on a five-year contract in a reported £15.4million deal and has been training with the squad as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to new boys Brentford.

Cucurella, who helped Spain win a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, can play at left-back or even pushed up into midfield.

Potter feels the the 23-year-old is all set to make an impact.

“He has made a positive impression on me and everybody else. You can see his qualities as a footballer and as a guy,” the Brighton boss said.

“He has settled in with the group really well and will be in the squad, he is ready to play.”

Enock Mwepu is another summer recruit from Salzburg and Potter knows the jury remains out on just how successful the club’s business has been.

“We think we are stronger – the proof of the pudding will be in terms of the games, but as we stand now I’m happy with the group, excited about the group,” Potter said.

“Sometimes you have to let them develop and give the group time to grow, that is the stage we are at.

“We are not at the maximum of what we have been doing. I think there are a lot of exciting young players who can continue to get better and better.

“So that is where the work is over the next few months, but we are excited about what we have done.”

Dutch forward Jurgen Locadia recently returned to the club following 15 months on loan in the Major League Soccer at FC Cincinnati.

“Everything is cleared in terms of his registration and he has been training with us in the last few weeks,” Potter said.

“It is just about getting him a bit more up to speed, but he is getting there.

“He has got his qualities with what he brings, so he’s competing for a place.”

Republic of Ireland forward Aaron Connolly should be can be fit for a return to club action, having resumed some light training on Thursday after sitting out the 1-1 draw against Serbia on Tuesday night because of a glute problem.

Wing-back Solly March missed the Everton game with a hamstring strain, but is another in contention to feature against the Bees.

Tariq Lamptey is making progress as he recovers from a serious hamstring injury, but will not be rushed.

“Because of the injuries he has had, I am reluctant to go too far into timescales,” Potter said.

“But he has stepped it up, has done more and more team training and played some internal 11 against 11 in the international break, which he came through well.

“He probably has still a little bit more to do, we are building up towards that time for Swansea (in the Carabao Cup), but we will take it day by day with him providing he responds well.

“We are just excited and happy that he is where he is now and we are looking forward to seeing him out on the pitch.”

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