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Juan Cuadrado deserves a second chance at Stamford Bridge

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Having far from impressed during his first stint at Chelsea during 2014/15, Juan Cuadrado could have a second opportunity to prove himself at Stamford Bridge, should the winger decide to return to west London, over extending his stay at Juventus beyond the loan spell from last season.

The Colombian international first arrived at Chelsea from Serie A club Fiorentina during the 2015 January transfer window, in a deal worth £23.3 million.

Cuadrado had enjoyed a successful spell in Florence, using his great pace and trickery to his advantage down the right flank. The speedy winger also supplied the occasional goal and assist, making him one of the most feared players in Italy.

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Much of the same was expected of the 28-year-old at Stamford Bridge, but the physical and fast paced nature of the Premier League posed a serious challenge for the Colombian.

As fellow wingers Eden Hazard and Willian found out at Chelsea, most opposition defenders in the league would rather attempt to take dribblers down and concede a foul than get beaten. The former Udinese man quickly realised that - unlike Serie A - there is not much space to run into in the Premier League.

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In addition to the challenges on the pitch, just trying to break into the team was another obstacle for Cuadrado to deal with. Manager Jose Mourinho used the winger sparingly during the second half of the season and was restricted to just a handful of substitute appearances along with the occasional berth in the starting eleven.

Cuadrado left for Turin 12 months ago to spend the last campaign on loan, which saw the winger get back to his best and assist the Old Lady to their fifth consecutive Serie A triumph - indicating he is a lot better suited to the Italian league.

The game in Italy tends to be more tactical and at a slower pace compared to England and allows Cuadrado to fully express himself. Also, having made 28 appearances for Juventus during the season, the Colombian had more opportunities to truly show his skills, as opposed to his time under Mourinho.

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Premier League

Even with the Colombian national team, the winger seems to be on top of his game, as evident from his recent electrifying displays in the Copa America.

On his day, the tricky winger can be unplayable. The question is whether the Colombian can somehow bring that form to Chelsea.

With the appointment of Antonio Conte at the Bridge, it seems highly likely there could be several more arrivals from Serie A, as the Italian manager plied his trade at Siena and Juventus before taking charge of the Italian national team and will, therefore, have a greater knowledge of many such talents from his own country.

Conte's style of play and management could benefit Cuadrado and help the Colombian settle much quicker at the club, with more time to adjust to the demanding nature of the English game.

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According to the Evening Standard, Conte has made his desire to bring the winger back very clear, amidst reports Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri wanting to keep the attacker in Turin.

The Italian's preferred formation is 3-5-2, which would greatly suit the Colombian international having played in the same formation under Allegri last season, therefore, he should have few problems slotting into Conte's plans.

Cuadrado is understood to have pushed back the decision-making process till after the Copa America. If the winger opts to give west London another chance, he will be given a fresh start with the Blues and with an entire season to look forward to, the Colombian will have enough time to ease into the side and adjust to the team's playing style.

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Topics:
Juan Cuadrado
Chelsea
Football
Premier League
Eden Hazard
Serie A
Juan Cuadrado

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