Name: Juan Cuadrado
International Caps: 30
Position: Attacking Midfielder
The injury to Theo Walcott in January went some distance to derailing Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge last season, as the team suffered with a chronic lack of pace in attack. However, the latest rumours, according to the Express, are that Arsene Wenger has turned his attention to Fiorentina’s flying Colombian winger, Juan Cuadrado, in order to address these issues in the squad.
Colombia have recorded two wins in their first two games of the World Cup, cruising past Greece before battling to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast. Much of the creativity and unpredictability in the Colombian attack has emanated from the flair and pace of Cuadrado. The counter-attacking play from Jose Pekerman’s men is grateful for Cuadrado’s ability to surge forwards into space and deliver the decisive final ball.
Cuadrado has created six chances in his first two appearances in Brazil, assisting three times. Not only is he finding himself in dangerous positions, but he is also delivering the goods. A further 11 goals and five assists in his 31 games for Fiorentina in Serie A show that he is no flash-in-the-pan.
He’s even been known to fill in different positions, having played as a traditional full-back, wing-back, or out on the left-hand side for his club. Barcelona’s reported interest is believed to be as a replacement for Dani Alves. This versatility would do a potential move to North London no harm in the eyes of the Gunners’ boss.
For the remainder of the World Cup, Cuadrado is without doubt one of the men to watch. With his flair and ability running with the ball at pace, he is a box of tricks ready to explode at any moment. Wenger knows about his abilities, and knows what he can give. If addressing the lack of pace in attack is on Wenger’s agenda this summer, then Cuadrado could well be the solution.