There has been a lot of divided opinion regarding Juan Cuadrado’s potential move to Chelsea, but his ability cannot be underestimated. The winger has a £26.8million buy-out clause that could be triggered by Chelsea this month and player himself has expressed a desire to join Jose Mourinho’s side, but do Chelsea really need the Colombian World Cup star?
The winger has been in reasonably good form this season, scoring four goals and providing four assists in Serie A for Fiorentina. There is no doubting Cuadrado’s pace, both with and without the ball, providing a very direct attacking approach, although many have raised doubts over whether Cuadrado would start for Chelsea despite his potentially large transfer fee. However, due to the rather dismal display against Bradford City at the weekend, Jose Mourinho will feel that his side needs further strength in depth to add to his squad’s undoubted current quality.
Players like Mohammed Salah, Andre Schurrle and Ramires are Mourinho’s other options in the attacking midfield positions that the manager uses to supply the lone striker up front. Salah has failed to impress since moving from Basel and Andre Schurrle, despite his promise, has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot. Ramires can play in the attacking midfield positions but he is seen as defensive midfielder cover for Nemanja Matic.
Therefore, although it may look like Chelsea have a host of attacking midfield options, Cuadrado’s presence will add great strength in depth. He also has the ability to really challenge for a starting spot, especially if he plays like he did in the World Cup. Some say that his performances in the World Cup are a one off and that he will struggle in the league. But his stats so far this season suggest that Cuadrado is still performing at a high level.
He has created 36 chances in just 17 matches this season, which is more than both Oscar and Willian. He has also completed 44 successful take-ons, a total only bettered by Hazard in Chelsea’s midfield. The winger is not afraid to have a shot either, going for goal 53 times this season, compared to Oscar’s, who has more attempts at goal than any other player in the Blues midfield so far this season.. According to data provided by Squawka, Cuadrado also has a better performance score this season than Oscar, Willian and Fabregas.
So out of Cheslea’s main attacking midfielders, Cuadrado does not appear to be an obvious weak link when statistically compared to Chelsea’s current attack-minded midfielders, which suggests the Fiorentina winger could offer another excellent option in Chelsea’s attack. It still remains to be seen whether Mourinho will make a move for the Colombian this month, but to suggest Cuadrado would be a waste of money is almost ludicrous due his current form in Serie A.
People may argue that the Premier League is a step up from Serie A, but Cuadrado is still performing at a consistent level since the World Cup, suggesting he is a player with great class who can perform well at Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea do move for the 26-year-old, it would resemble an excellent piece of business for the current Premier League leaders.