- Pochettino revealed he held talks with Cucurella
- Wanted to leave Chelsea in summer
- Praised the defender's performance in Carabao Cup
WHAT HAPPENED? The Chelsea boss claimed that while he was not involved in Cucurella's transfer talks during the summer, once the window closed, he did talk to the player separately and conveyed his expectations and planning to the Spaniard.
Pochettino also praised the left-back's performance against Brighton in the midweek Carabao Cup clash.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking on the full-back's failed transfer in the summer, Pochettino told reporters, "I don’t know because I wasn’t involved in this situation, that was more the sporting director, the [player’s] agent and the club," he said.
"After, when the transfer window closed, we were talking in my office. We were really clear about how I see and assess him and I listened to his feelings. Of course, it was a difficult time for him after he arrived from Brighton. It was tough, not only for him but many, many players."
He added, "That’s why we need to give confidence and trust in him. He is our player and I think he was really good against Brighton on Wednesday playing on the right-hand side. I think he was doing well and I am so happy about his performance and commitment. That’s what we expect from our players. Now, it is about working, waiting for the opportunity and working really hard. It is a really clear situation, he is in our plan. If he deserves to play, he will play."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In search of more game time, Cucurella wanted to leave Stamford Bridge and was linked with a loan move to Manchester United. The Red Devils eventually signed Sergio Reguilon after the move for the Spanish defender failed.
IN TWO PHOTOS:GOAL
WHAT NEXT? Now that he has the coach's backing following an impressive performance in the Carabao Cup, Cucurella can expect to appear in the Chelsea lineup for the first time this season in a Premier League fixture when they take on Fulham on Monday.