Juan Cuadrado made things tick at Fiorentina, but he has not been able to replicate his form at his new club Chelsea.
He joined the Premier League champions back in January, but by then, they had the league more or less secured despite brief competition from Manchester City. The Colombian has not done much in the most recent campaign, but does the winger have a future at Chelsea?
Losing Cuadrado was a big blow for Fiorentina – but when Jose wants you, you’re going to sign. In the 2013/14 season Cuadrado managed 14 goals in 43 appearances – spanning across the Serie A, Europa League and Coppa Italia. He also racked up 11 assists. The only thing that really kept him out of the squad was yellow card suspensions; aside from that, he played a big part.
But come January 2015, Cuadrado’s time at Fiorentina was up and he was heading to West London. In an all round dull transfer window, Cuadrado was one of the more exciting signings. But signing in January is that bit harder than signing in the summer. The team have already gelled, and in Chelsea’s case, storming the league. It makes it that bit harder for new players to establish themselves.
Which was exactly the case for Juan Cuadrado. Jose Mourinho very clearly had his best side picked from the get go as he stuck to it as religiously as he could – leaving very little room for his new signing. Juan Cuadrado played just 12 games, scoring 0 goals and 0 assists. Hard to believe in a Chelsea side as strong as theirs.
But as always, we can only assume that Jose Mourinho has a plan in place. After signing Willian, Jose said the Brazilian would need at least six months to adjust to life in England and the changes of the Premier League. Could he be doing the same thing with Cuadrado? Probably. The Colombian needs a good pre-season run under his belt to find his feet with his side.
The media may have dubbed him the Invisible Man, and some fans may want him out. But when Jose has a plan it will usually work out. Had Cuadrado signed in the summer transfer window, things may have been different. He has been gradually introduced into the team, and you can only assume he will have a more prominent role next season.
You don’t spend more than £20million for a bench warmer – unless you’re Manchester City.