As one of the many impressive Colombian stars to stand out at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, Juan Cuadrado is a player whose stock is currently on a rapid rise. It comes as no surprise that the South American, who is expected to soon be on his way from Fiorentina, has developed admirers in the Premier League as he simply suits the role of one of football’s new emerging stars.
It would seem that nearly all Europe’s elite clubs have been chasing Cuadrado since he first broke onto the scene, but within the closing stages of this season’s January transfer window, it seems that Jose Mourinho and Chelsea may have just won the race according to reports in BBC Sport. The Viola star is expected to be priced around the £23 million mark, with talk of Mohamed Salah – one of Chelsea’s more pointless signings – making way as part of the deal if the above reports are correct.
In light of such developments, it’s important to consider how the Colombian will adapt to his potential new home in the Premier League?And what does his signing signal for the Blues in their quest for silverware this season?
One thing Juan Cuadrado will certainly add to the Chelsea ranks is flair – and lots of it. The Colombian seems to be an avid fan of the trickier side of the game, with his ability to beat defenders and then go on to score leaving many admirers greatly impressed with the attacking midfielder’s talents. It is a style that is seemingly best played by South Americans, and in Juan Cuadrado, Chelsea may have just found themselves one of the most authentic practicers of the form going at the moment. The 26-year-old has also become renowned for his quick passing and direct style of play when marauding into the final third.
However, Juan Cuadrado is perhaps best known for his long range shooting and confidence outside the box. The World Cup star loves to line up chance after chance just on the edge of the keeper’s area. Although Chelsea have many other confident talents who are capable of doing just that very thing, adding that bit more Colombian firepower certainly wouldn’t go amiss for Jose Mourinho in the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign.
That said, what Cuadrado’s potential arrival does for Chelsea’s current system remains very much up for debate. Jose Mourinho has traditionally favoured wingers/attacking midfielders who have enough defensive qualities to be effective at both sides of the game. Whilst Juan Cuadrado certainly has all the necessary attacking tools in his locker, his ability to track back and cover his man has never been given huge priority in the no. 11’s game.
Mourinho has already ousted Juan Mata in favour of the more defensively minded, but not as technically gifted, Willian; so what this means for Chelsea’s newest arrivals is anyone’s guess. It also remains slightly tricky to see how both Juan Cuadrado and Eden Hazard will be able to work in the same team, especially when the likes of Oscar are also involved in the mix. As all of the previous three names remain very good players however, it shouldn’t be too hard for Mourinho to eventually get them clicking on the pitch.
Whilst the Colombian’s much publicised move to Chelsea isn’t finalised just yet, the deal is still likely going to bring one of the world’s most exciting talents to the English game. Although his acquisition will not please all, fans of the Premier League will largely rejoice at the chance to see Juan Cuadrado playing on these shores, even if it continues the theme of English players losing out on their starting places to the ever growing contingency of foreign stars in the Premier League.