Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has warned Juan Cuadrado that his Chelsea career could be over before it really gets going if he fails to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge.
Cuadrado joined the Blues in a £26.8 million move from Fiorentina earlier this week and is expected to make his debut on Saturday afternoon, when Chelsea travel to Aston Villa.
Scholes is not impressed with the Colombia international’s goals and assists record, but feels the player may be similar to Willian in terms of his effectiveness on the pitch.
Scholes: Cuadrado must hit the ground running
"Looking at his stats, I'm not sure that over the course of his career he is an outstanding goalscorer or maker of assists,” Scholes told the Independent, according to the Daily Star. "A bit like Willian, he is one of those players who does not have the big numbers but he still manages to impress you with what he does.
"What is clear at Chelsea, however, is that if you do not perform you do not last long in the squad."
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Scholes may have been referring to the recent examples of Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah, both of whom left Chelsea this week.
Schurrle, a World Cup winner, left Chelsea after 18 months at the club in order to free up funds to sign Cuadrado, while Salah completed a loan move to Fiorentina having spent a disappointing year with the west London outfit.
High hopes for Cuadrado
There are high hopes for Cuadrado, who will be expected to help Chelsea secure at least one major trophy before the end of the season.
Mourinho’s men are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, through to the Champions League knockout stages and will face Tottenham in next month’s Capital One Cup final.
That Scholes is not impressed with Cuadrado’s statistics may surprise some Chelsea supporters.
The 26-year-old weighed in with an impressive 15 goals from 43 appearances last season, while he netted six in 23 games for Fiorentina this term before leaving Serie A.
Cuadrado will be expected to up his goals and assists ratio at Stamford Bridge, where he will find himself competing with Willian for a first-team place.
Failure to make an instant impact and, as Scholes suggests, Cuadrado may find himself on the substitutes’ bench or even out of the club.