Can Juan Cuadrado Be The Next Big Thing At Chelsea?
When Chelsea bought Cuadrado, many eyebrows were raised as it was a high-profile signing. The Columbian’s addition to the squad was intended to make a direct impact as he was bought as a replacement for Schurrle and Salah. But things haven’t quite worked well for the Ex-Fiorentina man as he was not used regularly and failed to make much of an impact this season.
Here are some reasons why Cuadrado might be able to give his best performances next season:
A Good Pre-Season
It’s always going to be difficult for any player to come to the Premier League and that too in the second half of the season. The Premier League is physically and tactically more demanding than the Italian Serie A with more teams competing for the top spot. Chelsea was an already well-oiled machine, and he probably didn’t have enough time to make an instant impact. Maybe a good pre-season is all Cuadrado needs to gel with his teammates and understand the Mourinho gameplay, philosophy, and tactics. Come next season, he will be ready to take on the challenges with a better outcome.
Battle with Willian
It is a known fact that Willian and Cuadrado are in direct competition with each other for the RW spot. This season, Willian raised his game due to Cuadrado’s arrival and started giving some excellent performances with good build-up play, goals, and assists. Come next season, Cuadrado will need to step up his game to displace Willian from the team. This battle may lead to both players working harder than ever and giving good performances. A healthy competition is definitely beneficial for the team.
More Game time
Jose Mourinho knows very well when to throw his players for the battle. But this in the second half of this season, as Chelsea were grinding out victories, it was risky to throw Cuadrado in the battle as Willian was giving some of his best performances. The balance of the team was more important than Cuadrado getting game time as we had reached the business end of the title race. Moreover, very few injuries to Chelsea players this term meant that Cuadrado wasn’t going to get enough game time either way. Next season, he will surely be given enough game time to make an impact on the team.
Part of Mourinho’s attraction towards Cuadrado is his versatility. Throughout his spell at Fiorentina, Cuadrado played in a number of positions; particularly as a right-back or even as a right wing-back. He then played on the right side of a midfield three. He even filled in the role for a center forward when there was a shortage of strikers at Fiorentina. Thus, his versatility could prove to be decisive if Chelsea fall short of players due to injuries or suspensions.
Cuadrado is 26 years old. He is neither too young nor too old. He has the pace and dribbling ability to take on defenders and beat them. He is in the perfect stage of his footballing career to reach his peak. Under the guidance of Mourinho, he would hopefully integrate into the team and show his true prowess.
Next season will be a make or break season for Cuadrado. If he doesn’t perform, we can expect him to face the same fate as Schurrle and Salah. Mourinho doesn’t waste any much time axing players if they do not fulfill their potential and Cuadrado would surely know that. But hopefully he will shine, and we will see Cuadrado for many more years at Chelsea.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni