Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea fans not to expect a massive impact from winter addition Juan Cuadrado until next season.
The Colombian completed a move worth around £25m from Fiorentina to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day after emerging as one of Italian football’s top performers over the course of the past few seasons.
He made his debut for the Blues against Aston Villa over the weekend, but supporters of the London club only got to witness his skills for around 10 minutes as Mourinho introduced him as a late sub.
With a reputation for his fancy footwork, ferocious speed and eye for goal, many have been excited by the winger’s arrival, but the ‘Special One’ has suggested that next season will be the time he shines, and that he will need time to adapt to English football:
“It’s normal, step by step, to be integrated,” he is quoted by The Express.
“He needs time. I know Italy and I know the difference between Italy and England.
“His formation, his development, his experience- everything was in Italy.
“I wasn’t expecting him to come on to the pitch against Aston Villa and destroy them.
“Stability, time, integration – I think we will see the best Cuadrado next year.”
Egyptian flop Mohamed Salah left the club to head to Fiorentina as part of the Cuadrado deal, while Andre Schurrle also exited the Bridge on deadline day to join Wolfsburg.