Should Chelsea keep Cuadrado?


When Juan Cuadrado joined Chelsea from Italian outfit Fiorentina in the 2015 winter transfer window, he was poised to dislodge Willian on the right.

The initial fee of £23.3 million seemed like a good deal after an impressive display at the 2014 World Cup and a few impressive seasons at Fiorentina.

The Blues were sitting comfortably at the top of the table and Cuadrado was purchased to provide an extra option to the tired legs of Hazard, Oscar and Willian.

However, that was not to be the case.

The 28 year-old failed to make an impact in West London, making 13 appearances whilst not scoring a single goal.

The following summer, Chelsea signed Pedro from Barcelona. It looked as if Cuadrado’s time in the capital had come to an abrupt ending.

4 days later, in what seemed a peculiar move, it was announced the Colombian would join Juventus on a season-long loan.

Cuadrado, unlike Chelsea, had a successful season. He was a key part of the treble-winning side that won the Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. Giving the Old Lady much needed width, operating as a wing-back or an out and out winger, he quickly became a fan favourite.

Now the Conte revolution is in full-flow, everyone is keen to see what the future holds for Cuadrado. There is also the ongoing debate as to whether The Blues will line-up with 3 or 4 at the back.

If Conte chooses to play with 3 in defence, he has the perfect option of Cuadrado to operate as the right-sided wing-back.

However if it is 4 at the back he chooses, things may be different for the Colombian. With Eden Hazard picking up form in the last few games of the season and last year’s Player Of The Season Willian recently signing a four-year contact extension, Cuadrado may see very little game time.

Then there is the option of leaving London. It has been speculated recently that Juventus have offered to take him on loan for another season before having the option to purchase him for £18 million. A £5 million loss, but it would free up wages and also omit a player from the dressing room that could ultimately cause problems due to a frustration at a lack of games.

However, I feel that Chelsea haven’t seen the last of Cuadrado. The upcoming pre-season games in America are a perfect opportunity for the 28 year-old to show the new manager his worth.

There are also cries from many fans for Branislav Ivanovic to be moved on, that could potentially free-up the right-back position, somewhere that I think the Colombian could aptly operate.

Therefore, 3 or 4 at the back, there is still an opportunity for Cuadrado to put on a blue shirt, once more.