Friday 20 April 2018

Cuadrado joins Juve on loan after failing to make impact

Juan Cuadrado has been loaned out to Juventus after failing to make a significant impact in the Chelsea squad
Juan Cuadrado has been loaned out to Juventus after failing to make a significant impact in the Chelsea squad

Jeremy Wilson

Mohamed Salah, Andre Schurrle and now Juan Cuadrado. Three right-wingers, bought at a combined fee of £55million, and all now sent through the Stamford Bridge exit door in the space of seven months.

Cuadrado, of course, may theoretically still return from his now confirmed season-long loan at Juventus but there is little precedent for Jose Mourinho changing his mind about a player.

This was the manager, after all, who said that he needed only 10 minutes to assess the credentials of a player. In that context, Mourinho might conclude that allowing Cuadrado as many as four starts since paying £23.3m to buy him in January amounted to indulgence.

It is certainly no leap of imagination to suppose that the Colombian, who was such a star during the World Cup finals, was high in Mourinho's thoughts when he also said this month that it was for players to give managers confidence and not vice versa.

"The players and the agents would like this, 'Oh, I need five matches in a row to prove myself'," Mourinho said. "In 10 minutes you can show me if you are ready."

Cuadrado, it must be said, showed only that he was not ready. The explanation is multi-layered but the bottom line is also clear. In 15 appearances, he contributed no goals and no assists.


Pedro managed both a goal and an assist within 30 minutes of his Chelsea debut on Sunday. A willingness to track back and help his team out of possession was also striking.

When Mourinho talks of 10 minutes to analyse a player, you suspect that he watches for this quality above all others. The mirror, then, is the first place that Cuadrado or any Chelsea outcast must look but this is also a pattern under Mourinho.

Two factors appear significant. The first, surely, is a consequence of how transfers are conducted at Chelsea. If decisions are largely made by committee, it is hardly then surprising that the manager might not persist with a player he never truly wanted in his team.

We do not know if Mourinho initially drove the Cuadrado deal but - as with Schurrle, Salah, Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, David Luiz and Victor Moses - we know that he will be ruthless if an upgrade emerges.

It also sends a message about life under Mourinho that must reverberate through the dressing room. There will be casualties as well as trophies.

Meanwhile, Internazionale are in talks with Tottenham Hotspur about buying the Argentina winger Erik Lamela, two years after his arrival from Roma.

Spurs paid Roma £25m for Lamela in 2013 and are thought to want close to £20m if the midfielder is to be sold before the window closes on Tuesday. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport