The Premier League is renowned for being physically ruthless but in recent years it has also proven a savage environment for underperforming signings. It seems, when it comes to the big clubs, patience wears very thin when their acquisitions fail to step up to the plate, regardless of the price tag.
Juan Cuadrado is a prime example of the brutality of Chelsea and its no-nonsense transfer policy. Whilst the Colombian’s form was undoubtedly poor, the 27-year-old was spat out of the Chelsea machine after just nine months.
Football is often criticised for being so thronged with currency and with these circumstances it’s easy to see why. The Blues’ keenness to shoo away a £23.3 million investment so quickly, albeit on loan, shows how meaningless and dispensable large sums of money are to big clubs.
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Unfortunately, for Cuadrado, his inability to perform in the brief substitute cameos handed to him by Jose Mourinho saw the axe fall on the Colombian. It may prove a glaring error.
After a series of superb campaigns with Fiorentina, Cuadrado had become a player of much interest, particularly after an equally impressive 2014 World Cup showing.
Chelsea eventually proved to be the team to swoop in January 2015 upon the sale of Andre Schurrle and, with the deal potentially rising in the direction of £30 million, it was no cheap capture.
However, after only 15 appearances, the club seemingly came to the conclusion the Colombian should be cast away for a season. At 27-years-old, the move can hardly be justified as an opportunity for the player to develop and choosing Juventus is hardly going to aid Cuadrado’s attempted transition into a Premier League star.
The tricky winger may have garnered more yellow cards than assists and goals combined for the Blues, but handing the player just nine months to adapt to the Premier League is astonishingly cruel.
It’s highly publicised how long it can take for players to adjust to English football yet it seems Chelsea’s transfer policy is so focused on the present that their patience is farcically fragile.
How the powers-that-be at Chelsea could gather to what extent Cuadrado would perform in 2015-16 from half an hour against Manchester City, nobody knows.
However, not only does the move to loan out the Colombian prove incredibly ruthless but Chelsea’s turmoil this season shows it may have been a prominent mistake.
With Chelsea’s wingers, barring Willian, appearing shadows of their former selves in 2015-16, it has to be hypothesised that Cuadrado may have brought a lot to the table this campaign.
Besides, the 27-year-old would surely have been able to better Eden Hazard who remains plagued by a growingly comedic seven-month goal drought.
Equally, Cuadrado may have continued to struggle in the Premier League but how could Chelsea have been certain?
Whilst hindsight is admittedly very convenient, it would have seemed more logical for the club to loan out youngsters such as Bertrand Traore and Kenedy for development as opposed to established and talented stars.
Cuadrado may have endured a stagnant start to Chelsea life but he could have offered more to the Blues this season than a player such as Kenedy. That isn't criticising the Brazilian, but his South American counterpart is simply more experienced and rounded as a footballer.
After all, the Colombian is such a talented winger that it seems inevitable that he would have eventually shone in England.
Equally, seeing as Cuadrado’s departure was via a loan, the ex-Fiorentina man may still have the chance to strut his stuff in the Premier League. However, given the employment merry-go-round at Stamford Bridge, there aren't any guarantees - even if you are valued at £20 million.
Chelsea have endured a terrible start to defending their league title and whilst it is unclear whether Cuadrado would have improved this season, the question of ‘if’ will fester ever greater as long as their troubles continue.
Besides, even if the Colombian persisted to falter, it would have been at the very least courteous of Chelsea to provide him with more than nine months to prove himself.
But then again, modern day football is a cruel world and it seems the 27-year-old is simply just another victim of the savage transfer policies adopted by the sport's juggernauts. The decision was made long ago and is unlikely to change, but sat in 14th place, regrets can swiftly fester.
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