Chelsea currently have an incredible 30 men, worth in excess of £150million, deployed at various clubs around the world. One of them is the former Fiorentina man Juan Cuadrado, who made a loan move to the Italian side Juventus in the summer. Cuadrado has made just four Chelsea starts since joining them from Fiorentina 13 months ago and has been a regular for Juventus since moving on loan in August, scoring four times. Many at Stamford Bridge are still not convinced of his potential, want to see him move on to some other club, in order to make space for the incoming players. However with reports emerging of Antonio Conte’s imminent arrival in the summer, pundits feel he could hand a second life line to Cuadrado after his decent loan spell with the Italian champions.
However Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has made it clear a number of times that the Colombian winger will sign a permanent deal after several impressive performances on loan for the Serie A leaders. Cuadrado arrived with the January transfer window about to shut last season but with Chelsea going well in the league and strolling towards the title it was always going to be tough for him to break into a side that was playing well. Although by no means a regular starter at Juventus, Cuadrado has once again showed his quality this season and has started 19 games in a side that is a considerably stronger all-round unit right now than his parent club.
Although Cuadrado has just managed 3 goals and 4 assists in the 26 appearances he has made this season, one must keep in mind that in Max Allegri’s 3-5-2 formation, Cuadrado is expected to do so much more than just attack. This season Cuadrado has improved his defensive game tremendously. He offers much more offensively than Stephan Lichtsteiner when moving forward and, although he does not compare to the Swiss Express defensively, he has improved steadily under Allegri. It is also worth noting that Lichtsteiner is four years older than Cuadrado and signing the 27-year-old Colombian permanently could go a long way in Juve finding Lichtsteiner’s future replacement.
Cudrado this season has scored some very crucial goals for the Old Lady as well, his famous derby goal against Torino, but the one that really was special was the one scored against Fiorentina in December. He scored a beautiful goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and should have put the game to bed in the first half itself in Allianz Arena, if it weren’t for the post. Letting him go could prove fatal for Chelsea in the future but right now it seems like the Columbian will stay in Italy in order to get more game time.