Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has called for Juan Cuadrado to be given time to settle in to his new team, with the Colombia international having failed to make much of an impact during the 1-1 draw with Burnley yesterday.
The fixture marked the fourth time he’s turned out for the Blues, and the 26-year-old has little in the way of positive stats to show for his efforts. Having cost Chelsea £23.3 million on the January transfer window deadline day some fans might have been expecting more of an immediate touchdown, but Mourinho has called for patience.
"He is adapting," the Chelsea boss said, according to Goal.
"He needs to adapt in everything.
"The pace of the game, in Italy it's completely different. The intensity is much higher [here], it is different to play at the intensity we play – especially for 90 minutes.
"At Fiorentina he was playing as a wide player; here he has to go to areas where he's not adapted to it.
"I truly believe we are not seeing the player we know we have because the kid needs to adapt."
"I truly believe we are not seeing the player we know we have because the kid needs to adapt"
With Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah both having left the club in January the pressure is on for Cuadrado to show that he can provide just as much as they were offering. Though Salah was relatively frozen out Schurrle often had a big impact on games, and his sale to VfL Wolfsburg has left boots to be filled.
With Cuadrado having been extremely impressive over the past two Serie A seasons with Fiorentina, and also looking the part during the World Cup in Brazil last summer, he’s clearly the man Mourinho believes is capable of complementing the talents of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian.
Questions to be answered
Of the three it’s the latter than the new arrival looks most likely to challenge for a regular starting spot, but he’ll need to show he can adapt effectively to the Premier League before that becomes a reality.
That could yet prove to be a struggle, with the likes of Andriy Shevchenko and Hernan Crespo having come to England from Italy and failed to live up to their billing. Cuadrado doesn’t have the reputation either of those two had, and unless he finds his feet soon questions will steadily begin to be asked.
Chelsea fans, do you think Cuadrado will settle perfectly into the Blues’ rhythm? Or are you of the opinion he is he set to be a flop? Let us know in the comments box below...